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6 mos ago
Current Maybe I can make time for 1 RP. Right?
1 yr ago
Going on an indefinite hiatus from this site due to burnout, mental fatigue, and long working hours. Thanks everyone for the amazing RPs I've been in over these many months!
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3 yrs ago
I hope everyone has been safe and well here. <3
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3 yrs ago
Taking a break to focus on school and work :) See you guys in a few months!
3 yrs ago
Apple (Gfriend)


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In BLEAK 5 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay
I come back to this again and again, the BLEAK series (specifically the first one) really spoke to me emotionally.

I can't place exactly what it was, the story was easy to follow, some of the ideas were thought provoking and the RP was generally enjoyable (and the rpers).

I can't believe it's been 5 years, I reflected on my time in Guild and realized I trolled alot in some of the RPs I was in but BLEAK and some others on my 🐐 wall I took quite seriously.

I don't think anything could replace this RP, or emulate it but it made me a better roleplayer and I rarely see a roleplay up to this standard anymore.

Rest easy lil BLEAK.

I feel the exact same way. The atmosphere of Bleak has resonated with me more than any other RP. This RP is my blueprint. <3 I love you BLEAK family.

Hello All,

As most of you know, I took a promotion over a month ago and since then, my activity has declined to basically a halt. I'm essentially at an impasse, as I will no longer have the time to manage and actively participate in the RP due to this new RL responsibility, and that's not accounting for the freelance obligations I've already had prior to this new change.

And with Miranda being gone as well, it's just not feasible for me to keep up with such a large RP actively, though I can still be around to answer questions, give my 2 cents, communicate, etc.

With all that said, my inability to actively take part in the story doesn't mean it needs to end. This has been a wonderfully committed and talented group of writers who I believe can keep it going and infuse a new flavor and vision into the RP.

I want to put out feelers to see if there are any individuals who are interested, active, and committed to taking over as GM and Co-GMs. Perhaps everyone can decide democratically who they feel would be a good fit for these roles, if you guys want to continue the RP, that is.

Let's discuss OR in the chat.

okay, so Myrion just used his Gift on Fasha @jasbraq and maybe on Lohren @Silver Carrot, but what does that mean? well:

Fasha learned 'Ensnaring Fragrance'!: I went with the idea that was discussed on Discord, that's to say that her pheromones now can, at her command, block external stimulus from affecting those under her control, essentially preventing people from feeling things she doesn't want them to feel.

Lhoren (If she accepts) learned 'Siren's Echo'!: Again I went with the Discord conversation, this ability lets Lorhen implant thoughts in the heads of others but makes them mistake those thoughts as their own, complete commands or appealing suggestions are up to the player.

How your character reacts to the evolution (automatically know, have to discover it, feels the change, etc.) I am leaving for the players too.

Finally, @Aeolian or @Mirandae, are these evolutions okay? I went with them because they are things that the characters should be able to do similar things (but not quite the same) if they were trained to do them specifically

I can always edit if someone disagrees with something.

I would say these temporary upgrades are okay. :)

Day 1 Time: Night Weather: Cloudy, Light Rain Location: Harold's Academy [Dueling Room of Illusion --> Breezeway Behind the Waterfall Near the Seraphim Statue Participants: Professor Grune@Aeolian, Professor Caelum Incanowitz@Aeolian

The rain was light, reaching the end of its precipitous cycle as the hunting melody of the Ni-Seraphi became ambient music in the background of the chaos. The explosion in the Dueling Room of Illusion had rattled the academy to its core, particularly those who were in the Main Ballroom during the Moonlit Masquerade Ball. Looking out through a window, students could make out the silhouette of Professor Grumble in the far distance, unleashing lightning bolts against massive angelic beings, the adult form Ni-Seraphi, which had not yet encroached upon the school themselves. Another figure could be seen fighting with her too, but it was unlikely many of the students would know who this was. From a window on the westerly side of the academy, Professor Ivo Featherswallow flew out toward the open skies to assist Professor Grumble in her defensive efforts. He blasted off like a bright torpedo shooting through the darkness.

Moments after, Professor Bishop Coldspring and Professor Kua were flying off to help defend against the adult Ni-Seraphi as well. One could spot Professor Amara Mako, in her beautiful mermaid form, heading toward the Aquasphire of Lost Leonnis with several other students to retrieve the combat-ready Waagas. Other professors were assisting the Illuminaire's in protecting the students or helping them reach a place to hide if they were unable to defend themselves or make it to the designated bunker under the school. The exceptions were Professor Ishaal Perugu, who had been away through the Portal for months now, and Professor Cornelius Darling Jr. IV, for whom nobody knew his whereabouts since morning.

Professor Grune awoke in the Dueling Room of Illusion with a steady migraine beating in her head. Using her combat skills, she had just managed to avoid the brunt impact of the explosion, but it was at least enough to send her flying into the opposite wall. She stood up, pushing a bit of rubble off herself, and aside from a few scars and bruises, she was relatively unharmed. "Fuck, that hurt." she muttered, the agitation in her voice evident. The fresh new hole in the side of the school revealed the source of the explosion. An adult-form Ni-Seraphi made it past Professor Grumble and had unleashed a massive orb of sound from its mouth to create an entryway for its brood.

A single Ni-Seraphi covered in silk, loomed just beyond the island and stared at Professor Grune with its swirling mercury eyes. The adult Ni-Seraphi always seemed to have a persistent smile upon their faces, soft and unencumbered. Even when they were killed or dying, their faces never showed distress. It made them all the more eery, despite their otherworldly angelic beauty. Professor Grune glared at the creature in return, not an ounce of fear present on her countenance. The hunting melody of the Ni-Seraphi unphased her, it seemed. Her experiences and time at the Cespheus Prison left her emboldened and fearless, even in the face of grave adversity.

But it wasn't the adult-form Ni-Seraphi that she needed to worry about at that moment. A silhouette moved in front of her view of the colossal Angel. No no. Not one figure, several, clad in dark silks, hair white, eyes glowing red. They appeared from around the corner of the opening in the wall. They had their own melody, but it sounded more like a snake hissing. It was uncanny and completely unmelodic. Some walked, and some hovered with a vampiric kind of cadence.

The Pupa.

They were entering the school, and immediately, Professor Grune deduced that was why the Ni-Seraphi blew a hole in the stonework. The Pupa weren't alone either, though. When they spotted Grune, small fleshy vectors melted off their flesh and formed into bird-sized creatures of horror. They were feathery and avian-like but deformed and hideous, with sharp claws, teeth, and incomplete bodies like they'd been ripped out of the womb prematurely. Perhaps this appearance was part of their predatory evolution, to instill fear in their prey and catch them off guard. Perhaps on others, this natural fear tactic would work. But Grune was not like other people.

She didn't even hesitate. Fear was not a currency she stored. Grune opened her mouth at the incoming Pupa and Larva, and screamed with all her vitesse.


Meanwhile, Professor Incanowitz was halfway to the other side of the academy when the explosion went off. It sent him off balance, but not enough to completely knock him out of the air. He steadied himself before continuing on toward the breezeway that had been terraformed into the waterfall at the back of the academy. This is where the Seraphim statue stood dormant, looming over the Academy like a sentinel, ready to be piloted with a steady stream of vitesse.

But Professor Incanowitz never made it all the way there, unfortunately. Just a few minutes before he arrived, something collided with his skull. It was a heavy thing that had dislodged from above and fell right on his head, sending him careening midflight onto the cold, stone floor. Whatever it was, the explosion must of dislodged it, a sign of how tremendous the force of the blast was. He lay there, the saturated winds wetting his face and hair. His eyes went blurry, flickering as though trying to muster up enough gusto and Vitesse to stay open. But to no avail. The ever-exuberant Professor Incanowitz, was out for the count. The Seraphim statue almost seemed to look at him, disappointed and embarrassed.

Day 1 Time: Night Weather: Cloudy, Light Rain Location: Harold's Academy Participants: Everyone, The Pupa@Aeolian

Though the explosion hit only one small part of the Academy, the effects of that attack would set off a chain of shattered glass and windows throughout the campus, providing several other entryways for the uninvited to begin their more intimate assault upon the Mystic students and staff. There were about 2 or 3 adult Ni-Seraphi that had made it past Professor Grumble at this point, and they seemed completely transfixed on the resonating signal of aeonhearts that emanated from the school.

It only took one adult Ni-Seraphi to release an entire brood of Pupa onto the school grounds. The Pupa were swift in their movements, a bloodthirsty gaze in their ruby-glowing eyes. The shattered windows were the perfect opportunity for them to enter the premises. They slinked through these various openings, releasing a low hissing that could make the skin crawl. Now that they were in the school, their one objective was clear. Paralyze any Mystic and bring them out to the outside so the adult Ni-Seraphi could suck them in and consume them in one violent gulp.

If one were to find a school of Larva-Ni's hovering about, scanning for Mystics, rest assured, their Pupa master was nearby, waiting to strike. Pupa shared the same strength as any normal, athletic human, but they adapted themselves to have a unique reptilian agility that could take any Mystic off guard who was not paying attention or is ill-equipped for combat against a vampyre-like predator that could move swiftly and silently.

Beware, for the Pupa and Larva are on the loose in the Academy. Kissed Mystics should be particularly careful, as they are prime targets. One strike from a Pupa's glowing needle-like pointer finger through a Mystic's aeonheart, and the paralysis only takes a few seconds to set in. The entire body begins to feel heavy and cold, with a pulsating pain that ripples through the skin of the victim as the poison sets in. And then, when the aeonheart has been completely polluted, it feels as though the Mystic's soul has left their body, as if, they can almost watch their semi-lifeless body lying there, still and hollow. It is true, that the paralysis only lasts a few minutes. But alas, it only takes a few minutes for a Pupa to carry you to the dinner table as you watch your body like an apparition sucked into a vortex, swallowed whole and alive.

And once you're nothing but a soul without a body to return to, well...

Day 1 Time: Night Weather: Cloudy, Light Rain Location: Harold's Academy [The Infirmary] Participants: Matron Fooma Sajid@Aeolian, Daemons (Iolana, Kannon, Sara)@Aeolian, Primrose@CaliforniaState

"Sara's bleeding out too much! She won't make it!" Iolana said with an exasperated, exhausted tone.

The man with the bug-like head, Kannon, looked at Iolana with an indistinguishable expression. His face made it difficult to discern any moods or temperaments, but his antennas twitched, and Iolana seemed to understand that he wanted her to calm down. They were carrying Sara in the center of their bodies; an arm hung over each of their shoulders. The young teenage girl was unconscious now, and blood spilled onto the floor as they entered the Academy through one of the shattered windows.

They were careful to avoid the Pupa that had begun their assault shortly thereafter. The Trio of Daemons followed the signage in the school as they made their way to the infirmary. Their leader, Glaos Wyngarde, had stayed behind to defend the Academy with Professor Patty Grumble. They had heard the voice of Professor Grune just before the explosion, and luckily, they were not in the school when it occurred, though they saw it happen while on the outside, and that fierce, vicious reality made them even more determined.

But with Headmistress Minerva absent, their main objective now was to save Sara's life. The teenager moaned, the pain of the deep wound agitating her unconscious body. They hid in a nook for a moment as a Pupa and several larva flew by in their deadly hunt for Mystics to paralyze. When it seemed as though the coast was clear, the trio continued on, picking up the pace with greater urgency. The trail of blood along the school floors was alarming, but the group had very little physical strength or Vitesse left to fly Sara the rest of the way. On foot would have to do for now. They were visibly drained when they finally reached the infirmary doors and entered frantically. It was mostly empty, say for a handful of injured students and the Matron of the Infirmary, Fooma Sajid. The Matron served as the Head Nurse of the infirmary for the school. He was an older man with long hair and a heavy white gown and cape; he looked like a religious cleric.

He was calmly mending a gash on a student's forehead with a golden thread and needle when the trio entered his domain. Every loop of the thread seemed to instantly mend a part of the wound, bit by bit, as he went along. The Matron turned his head to face the trio of daemons, and it only took a few moments to understand the grave situation. "Hang on a moment." he said to the student with his deep timber, setting down the glowing needle and thread as he approached the daemons. He knew who they were, as Professor Grumble did, but he made no indication to their reputation. Saving lives was the only thing he cared about. "Put her on that cot over there, quickly!" the Matron commanded, motioning to an empty cot by the window.

Just then, Primrose entered the infirmary and the Matron let out a heavy sigh of relief as Iolana and Kannon laid Sara down on the cot, as he instructed. Primrose caught on to what was going on quickly, commanding Iolana to take off Sara's clothes and apply pressure to the wound on her side. Iolana looked to the Matron, who nodded for her to listen to the student.

He then moved over to Sara's cold, bleeding-out body and moving Iolana out the way, who was applying pressure as Primrose instructed. He turned Sara on her side, inspecting the deep festering wounds. He mumbled to himself, "Looks like an infected larva bite." Blood continued oozing out her body, prompting the Matron to apply pressure once again. He looked up briefly to Primrose, "Good! You're here. I expected as much. Did you bring any healing salve? We may have to do this the hard way if you didn't. I've run out of supply, and my order was delayed. Just my luck, huh?" he said with a familiar, almost darkly amused tone. It was clear the Matron knew Primrose closely. She had supported his efforts in the infirmary on more than one occasion, and he trusted her knowledge, despite only being a student. He had always imagined she would make a wonderful matron or nurse or physician someday if that was what she aspired to. He had certainly encouraged her before.

Kannon stood off in the corner, observing quietly, while Iolana hovered over Sara's body like a worried big sister. "Will she live?" the woman asked the Matron.

"Well, this girl has already lost a great deal of blood." he began calmly, acknowledging the paleness of her skin, "If we do not stop the bleeding and heal her of the infection swiftly, then this girl will die."

He looked back to Sara's wounds, but addressed Primrose without the need to look at her.

"Come now, Primrose. I need your assistance."

Been eyeballing this for a while but missed out on getting to it during the Interest Check phase; if there’re still slots, I’ll toss my hat in for this.

Hey there,

Yes, the RP is open for 2 or 3 more characters, so feel free to start working on a character using the official character sheet. As I told the other interested players, I'm only accepting male characters at the moment due to the overwhelming imbalance between male/female characters, and there are no more spots for the Illuminaire role. If you're cool with those two stipulations, then I look forward to seeing your completed character sheet. :)

Is this still open :) ? If so, I'll create a CHAR after work


Yes, we are currently open to accept 2 or 3 new players, so feel free to start working on a character using the official character sheet. There are just a few rules:

1. Your character has to be male. We have 3x more female characters than males, so I'm trying to strike more balance here.

2. There are no open spots for Illuminaires. These roles are already filled for all the houses.

If you're okay with those two stipulations, I look forward to seeing your character :)


Day 1 Time: Night Weather: Cloudy, Drizzle Location: Open Skies Near Harold's Academy Participants: Patty Grumble@Aeolian, A Group of Daemons@Aeolian

The song.

It rippled through the rainy skies, carried upon the winds that Patty had assembled about herself to propel faster. She recognized this song from other moments in her life, but found this tune distorted and unnatural, somehow. Could it be? And on the night of The Moonlit Masquerade Ball? No. Surely not. Using her gift, she parted the rain around her as she drew further from the Academy. She was out in open skies when the rain finally tempered into a soft drizzle. She didn't bother parting it; there wasn't enough to warrant any effort on her part. The clouds ahead of her were thick and dark, like vaporized ink from a quill. She paused, scanning the horizon in the direction of the song. The weather witch could part those foreboding clouds too, but she waited, anticipation rapturing at her hearts like she hadn't felt in ages.

Couldn't be.

The song steadily got louder, distorted nonetheless, but more identifiable with the tune that she replayed over and over in her memories. This seasoned mystic had learned a thing or two from her past, and she recognized this song. She reckoned everyone back at the school could hear the song now too. From taking her classes, they should be able to assert what that song was and where it came from.

The Ni-Seraphi.

The Ni-Seraphi were strange creatures, colossal and beautiful and deadly. They sang as a form of communication to one another, but also, to instill fear into their prey. This was, undeniably, their hunting melody. Assured in what dangers loomed ahead, Patty pulled out a quill and parchment from her cloak and wrote back to Professor Caelum Incanowitz, who was likely propped upon an open window sill playing his flute leisurely until the rain subsided. He may have heard the Hunting Song of The Ni-Seraphi too, but if he hadn't, it was all but assured that he was definitely hearing it now. She also wrote to the Royal Guard, but the school was on its own until they arrived.

Patty looked back toward the Academy, which was a fair distance away, and when she returned her gaze to the dark wall, she spotted small silhouettes hurling frantically through the skies toward her. The old woman steadied herself, channeling her inner vitesse for what she assumed would be combat. As they came into better view, she could make out four figures: a man, a woman, a figure with an unusual bug-like head, and an adolescent who appeared to be bleeding from her side and was being assisted in her flight by the woman. Patty moved forward only an inch or two and then paused. Her natural instinct was to help people, but as they came closer, she recognized their faces from the public criminal records. Daemons--and heading toward the Academy, no less. How dare they threaten the lives of her charges.

Without hesitation, Patty's face went hot, and she soared higher into the air as dark clouds collected above her, visible static jumping madly. A thunderhead. She had materialized it out of thin air, hanging it over them. She watched closely, preparing to unleash a lightning bolt once they crossed the boundary she had erected in her mind's eye. But just as she was about to strike, she heard the voice of the woman, heaving and desperate across the wind currents, "We--need help. We ne--we need Minerva."

"Minerva...?" Patty mumbled curiously, though when they were finally upon her, her face twisted into a look of concern once her eyes fell upon the teenage youth. This was still a child, and seeing this child bleeding from their side brought about Patty's maternal, sympathetic nature. The man with the braid approached Patty, seemingly the leader of their little posse. "What is the meaning of this?" Patty asked.

The man's voice was strong, but sore, it seemed, and he was breathing heavily too. "I'm Glaos Wyngarde. This is Iolana--" he stated, motioning to the woman with the flower in her head. Iolana nodded in acknowledgment. She looked strained, holding up the teenager nearing unconsciousness, or perhaps the teenage girl already was and could only stir feebly. Glaos continued, "--Sara, and Kannon."

Patty seemed unbothered by the introductions, despite Kannon's unusual bug-like face making her eyebrow twitch uncomfortably. When Patty spoke, there was an urgency in her voice as the Ni-Seraphi's song was just beyond the dark billowing wall of clouds for which the group of Daemons came through. "I know who you are. The question is, why are you here? This is an establishment for gifted students, not criminals." The rain remained a drizzle, but Patty used her gift to push those leaking clouds away to create a clearer atmosphere for them to discuss. Her thunderhead still hung over them, though, just in case. Patty looked at Sara, briefly, whose skin was turning awfully pale.

This Glaos figure moved even closer to Patty until they were hovering right in front of each other. He pulled out an Edwardian envelope with gilded writing, though the script was incomplete, as though the writer ran out of time before they could complete it. There was no traditional crested wax seal either. Glaos held it out to her, "This should explain everything. It's from our leader, but...he is gone now."

Patty took the envelope, adjusted her glasses thoughtfully, and began reading the letter. Never for a second, however, did she tune out from the Ni-Seraphi song that continued to permeate the very air around them, sending a quivering tingle throughout all their aeonhearts. When Patty finished reading the envelope, she let out a troubled gasp. Her gaze went misty as she monologued to herself quietly, "No wonder. This must be why Minerva left so abruptly this evening. Things are more grave than I thought."

Glaos, who had overheard Patty, reeled in shock, "Minvera's gone????!!" he asked fearfully.

Patty thought for a moment, ignoring his exclamation. When her mind had finally settled, she gestured to them with her hands. "Come with me. Quickly. We can discuss this matter further at the school and--" She meant to say that the girl could receive treatment in the Academy infirmary, but before she had a chance, her eyes widened in unmistakable fear and equal parts determination.

From inside the wall of dark clouds, colossal angelic beings appeared—the Ni-Serpahi. After several years, the Ni-Seraphi had finally reared their beautiful, ugly heads at the Academy. With the Royal Guard manning watch of the Ripple in the Sky around the clock, Ni-Seraphi seldom made it to the school. But somehow, an entire brood of them had suddenly appeared from the shadows. This was impossible. And their song sounded even more twisted now than Patty had ever remembered it sounding before.

"Go to the school, Quickly! Ask for Grune. I will hold them off the Ni-Seraphi for as long as I can!" Patty said boldly. This little old lady always talked so sweetly at school, but she carried herself like a true warrior here on the battlefield. She was resolved and ready to defend her students at ALL COSTS.

"I will stay here with you to help defend your school--" Glaos said to Patty, and then he turned to his comrades, who were both helping to hold up the limp-bodied Sara, one arm over each of their shoulders. "Do as she says. Take Sara to the school infirmary before she bleeds to death! Now!" Iolana and Kannon nodded, then, with Sara hanging across them, flew toward the school with the last of their vitesse they could muster. When Glaos returned to address Patty, the weather witch had already jumped into the fray.

Patty soared high and fast, expanding her thunderhead as she got closer to her approaching Ni-Seraphi. She tried to count how many there were, but she didn't have the time. The atmosphere around her crackled with the sound of thunder, and then she let loose powerful lightning strikes onto the angelic monstrosities.

The Ni-Seraphi were killable and their blood was strikingly silver. These celestial abominations from another realm moved at varying speeds too. Some slow, some fast, particularly the ones with a severe case of bloodlust and hunger. Their eyes were ghostly hollow and rippled with a mercury-like substance, like a swirling pool of captured souls lost forever within their gaze. But aside from the sheer strength they possessed due to their colossal size, their mouths were their greatest asset.

Sure, they could swipe at you with their humongous wings or hands, but their songs are what you had to be fearful of most. Ni-Seraphi ate Mystics alive. Killing a Mystic, kills their aeonheart. And what good is a lifeless, unbeating aeonheart to a Ni-Seraphi. There's no magic in that. As such, Ni-Seraphi were keen on ensnaring their prey rather than outright killing them before consumption. One song created orbs of sound, which they could release from their mouths and use to incapacitate their prey from a distance. And when it was time to feed, they used their large mouths to suck in air and create a current of torrential air to suck prey right into their large, open pitless mouths. It was like being sucked into a blackhole, and you had to be a really skilled flier or have enough Vitesse to escape the violent suction.

Patty understood one thing, though, as she released lightning bolt after lightning bolt at the approaching Ni-Seraphi; there were too many of them. She and this daemon, whatever his gift was to assist her in combat, was not enough to keep them all away from the school. They would need Royal Guard for additional assistance. And the students, oh her students. It was time. It was time to activate...


Emergency Safety Protocols.

Day 1 Time: Night Weather: Cloudy, Drizzle Location: Harold's Academy Participants: Professor Caelum Incanowitz@Aeolian Professor Grune@Aeolian

Strangely, Professor Caelum Incanowitz seemed excited by the current turn of events. His eyes lit up as he read Professor Grumble's parchment message, and he couldn't help but think about manning the Seraphim statue against the incoming threat. The old timer very well could have ran to Headmistress Minerva's office to speak to the entire school through the crystal intercom, but instead, his second thought (obviously his first being the Seraphim statue) was to immediately inform Professor Grune of what lay ahead. The students would need to prepare themselves and he didn't want to cause immediate panic. This was going to be a rocky night, perhaps even a tragic one.

With no further hesitation, he stored his parchment and flute into a fanny pack hidden under his cloak and then took to the air and flew quickly through the corridor halls. Most of the Academy was empty now; the majority of students and professors were at the Moonlit Ball. He found Grune where he expected her to be, training alone in the Dueling Room of Illusion. However, she wasn't actually training when he arrived. Rather, she was hovering in the air, looking out one of the stained glass windows and listening intently to the hunting rhapsody of the Ni-Seraphi that loomed in the distance.

When she sensed his presence, Professor Grune didn't even bother to turn to him; she only spoke in a low, solemn tone. "So it is true. They really are here."

Professor Incanowitz confirmed Professor Grune's own suspicions, prompting a pissed-off "Fuck!" from her as she turned to face him. "We have to initiate ESP!"

Grune was the professor of General Combat Training and Teamwork, after all. She, alongside Professor Patty Grumble, Professor Caelum Incanowitz, and Professor Kua were the most capable combatants of the professors at the Academy. They likely would take the initial duty of fighting off the Ni-Seraphi head-on, while the other professors and personnel were to focus on protecting the students who did not possess combat-focused powers or capabilities and, therefore, were more vulnerable to attack.

Professor Grune and Professor Incanowitz nodded to each other, knowingly. There was no way around it. Professor Icanowitz took off, making his way to the Seraphim statue located at the backside of the Academy. He would need to get there quickly without a moment to lose.

Grune, left behind in the Dueling Room of Illusion, cleared her throat, her vitesse swirling as she channeled it into her lungs. With her gift to manipulate the depth, echolocation, and volume of her voice to supernatural levels, she spoke calmly, resolute in her mission. But her voice echoed across the room and reverberated throughout the entire school. Her vocal gift was this powerful. No matter where you were at that moment, anyone on the school grounds would be able to hear her message, like the crystal intercom magnified thrice-fold. She kept it short, not being one for grand soliloquies of despair. Grune liked to keep things straightforward and to the point. No bullshit.

"Listen carefully. The Hunting Melody of the Ni-Seraphi is exactly what you are hearing now. This is not a drill. Those monsters are here and will be at our doorstep any moment. Do what you can to prepare. We're initiating ESP. Remember your training. You know what to d--"

At that moment, her voice abruptly cut off.

Anyone in or around the Main Ballroom would have heard a loud explosion from the direction of the Dueling Room of Illusion. The strength of the explosion was so great it would have rocked the equilibrium and balance of anyone in the ballroom or nearby. The room quaked violently, knocking people to their knees, food and decorations crashing about madly. Anyone still hovering in the air would come tumbling down to the stone-cold floor below, or at least, just nearly for some. Professor Grune spoke of the Ni-Seraphi being at their doorstep any moment now.

Well, that moment was now.

Day 1 Time: Night Weather: Cloudy, Drizzle Location: Harold's Academy Participants: Petyr Nostradé@Aeolian, Monty Darling@Aeolian

E.S.P - Emergency Safety Protocols

There was no time more grave than when the Academy initiated E.S.P. This protocol had only been initiated twice in recent decades, making it a novel procedure that several generations of students never had to experience for themselves. It was only initiated when the school was under immediate threat. Whether it be Daemons, Ni-Seraphi, or any other existential threat, the Academy did not take any dangers against the lives of the students lightly.

First, all combat-capable students and staff are to defend the school against the threat.

Second, students and staff lacking in combat prowess or a combat-based gift are to help one another find shelter until the threat has been eliminated OR provide support to the combatants on the front lines, if able.

Third, provide assistance where you can and stay safe.

Fourth, don't die.


Petyr Nostradé

♫ - Petyr's Theme

When Petyr awoke, he found himself fetal position under a firm, hard body made of diamond. It was Monty, who had thrown himself over Petyr and used his gift to turn himself into a diamond form to protect his crush when the massive explosion nearby broke loose parts of the ceiling and sent them tumbling down onto them. Petyr tried to recall what had happened before that point.

He had been waiting outside of the Seraphine dorms, waiting for Monty to change into his Masquerade costume, which very well, was likely the most expensive costume at the school. While waiting, Petyr was exchanging parchment messages with his sister, Sage, who was waiting for Petyr outside of the ballroom with Lysander, their mute little brother. On he and Monty's way to the Main Ballroom, they heard the Hunting Melody of the Ni-Seraphi. At first, it was faint, like a soft, dreamy lullaby meant to lure unsuspecting prey to their death. From what he had learned in Professor's Grumble Defense Against the Ni-Seraphi class, something about this melody seemed off.

But as it slowly came closer and closer, Petyr and Monty were all but assured of its origins. Right, yes. And then that was when it happened. He heard Professor Grune's vocal message reverberate all around him, and then the explosion, and he was knocked to the ground, unconscious.

Petyr was conscious now, though when he felt against his temple, a wet gash had formed and winced in pain. He looked at his fingertips; there was bright warm blood painted on them. It was a deep gash, enough to knock him unconscious for several seconds after hitting his head on the cold stone floor. He hadn't had time to react, to shift into his Djinn form. It was all so sudden. Now that he was aware of the situation, he turned blue, and his hair grew long and flowy. His scales rippled upon his flesh, working to heal the painful wound on his temple, but it was too deep, it seemed. Petyr's gift would only be able to heal so much of it and for the rest, he would need to go to the infirmary or find a healer, like Anastasia, the Illuminaire from the House of Harold. When it seemed they were in the clear for now, Monty lifted himself off of Petyr and looked at him concerned, bringing his hand to the blue-skinned teen's face. "Are you okay?" Monty asked worriedly, his own skin almost as magnificent as Petyr's, only diamond instead of cornflower blue.

"I'm fine." Petyr said softly, standing up with the help of Monty. He wobbled a bit, getting his bearings. When his blue scales had healed the wound as best as they could, he shifted back to his normal form and looked around. Several windows had been shattered; signs and paintings that lined the walls were on the floors. There was a bit of rubble at the far end of the hall that had been knocked loose -- the old bits that were likely to have been in a state of disrepair for some time anyways.

When he and Monty looked outside the broken windows, they let out inaudible gasps. The Ni-Seraphi were hovering just beyond the sky island, peering hungrily at the school with milky, mercury eyes. They had thin bodies draped with ethereal, almost see-through fabric; long limbs, beautifully emotionless faces, and large feathery wings beat in a steady back-and-forth motion. From their limited vantage point, they could only see the ones in front of them, but the Ni-Seraphi were surrounding the sky island on all sides. Professor Grumble was right of course, there was no way she would be able to hold off this many on her own, not even with the assistance of the Daemon, who had stayed behind to fight. Petyr could make out bolts of lightning striking down rapidly in the distance. At least the professor was still alive, for now.

This was Petyr's first time encountering the Ni-Seraphi. Ever. All of his training had been theoretical. Sure, they trained in the Dueling Room of Illusion against ephemeral Ni-Seraphi, but never the real thing. Even still, despite the immediate threat to his life that loomed just beyond their home, Petyr could only think of Sage and Lysander. He whispered their names as it became clear to him that they may have been in danger or hurt too, during the initial explosion. They didn't have a self-healing factor or protective gift like he did.

In that moment, they were his only concern, and with no need for further hesitation, the blue-skinned god-like student took to the air and made his way toward the Main Ballroom. Monty tried to call after him, to express his concern for Petyr's safety, but Petyr didn't care or listen. So Monty did the only plausible thing that he knew he could do, he followed after him. Petyr was Monty's only concern. Petyr's thoughts raddled chaotically in his brain and the hunting melody of the Ni-Seraphi hummed bloodcurdlingly in his ears.

In Lekë, that beautiful melody was a thing of nightmares.

Day 1 Time: Night Weather: Moderate Rain Location: Harold's Academy [Astronomy Room --> Main Ballroom] Participants: Petyr Nostradé@Aeolian, Sage Nostradé@Aeolian, Lysander Nostradé@Aeolian The Willow Gang@Aeolian, Professor Patty Grumble@Aeolian, Arthur Everwood (Mentioned)@Jumbus, Tessa (Mentioned)@Mirandae

Petyr Nostradé

When Petyr arrived at Harold's Academy after the skyship incident, sopping and visibly exhausted from expending much of his vitesse while flying, he quickly parted ways from Tessa and went to his room to shower and change into his masquerade costume. It was a rather homely-looking thing with a rip along the seams, one of the last Academy-provided ball costumes from the school stockpile given to students who didn't have or couldn't afford their own. In truth, he didn't want to attend, but a promise to Tessa was something he couldn't break. Petyr never broke his promises.

Before rendezvousing with the Willow Gang, he happened upon his older sister, Sage, and his younger brother, Lysander. Being as popular and beautiful as she was, Sage had declined all her suitors in favor of going to the ball as Lysander's plus one, a regular victim of bullying with few friends or acquaintances. His face and body were mired with burns from the Orphanage fire, an unfortunate occurrence that left him a target of persistent ridicule.

Sage had her hands on her hips, eyebrows furrowed as she tapped her sparkling heels on the cold floor. Lysander was leaning against the wall, staring at his feet quietly. "Petyr, Where have you been? We've been looking for you for over 30 minutes." Sage barked.

Petyr sighed heavily, walking toward them and resting his hand on Lysander's head, smiling softly. Lysander returned the smile in jest, but remained silent in his gaze. He was also a mute. Petyr looked to Sage, who was frowning aggressively, "Yeah, sorry. It's a long story. Tessa needed me to help her with something in the capital, and then our skyship caught on fire and--" Sage's eyes widened, and she immediately rushed to him, feeling over his body fervently with worry in her voice, "A fire? Are you okay?"

The 4th year ice prince spoke in a low, unbothered tone, "I'm fine. Everyone is fine. It was just, a mess, but--" he paused, considering their location. Moonlight filtered through the windows in the corridor, illuminating a sign hung over the door at the end hall that read Astronomy Room, "--what are you guys doing near the Astronomy Room?" Sage let go of him, her frown returning swiftly, "I could ask you the same thing. I figured if you weren't at the ballroom, you might be with that little--" her face twisted into a disdained grimace as she continued, "--group of yours. I still don't understand why you're hanging out with them. You're better than that. And way too intelligent for that posse of snobby rich kids who think they can do whatever the hell they want cause they're nepo babies."

Petyr leaned against the wall next to Lysander, looking out toward the nearest window with a hazy expression, "I have my reasons." Sage knew not to pry; she knew how secretive and cryptic Petyr could be. He'd tell her when he was ready. "Well, you're still coming with us to the ball right? You promised."

"Yes--" Petyr responded without hesitation, combing his hand through his hair, "I'll join you there soon. Go on ahead." Sage glared at him but relented, "Fine. Don't take long or I swear to--" Petyr cut her off, pushing himself off the wall to properly place a hand on her shoulder, "I will be there." After a conclusive exchange of words between them, Petyr separated from his siblings and headed through the Astronomy Room door.


"Kissing ghosts is not the same as kissing humans, Lottie."

"Yes it is, Leonna! There's no difference!"

This was the high-pitched bickering of Lottie and Leonna Grace (simplify to referred as 'The Graces' by others), two spoiled twin sisters and members of the Willow Gang. Throughout Petyr's time in the gang, he'd built up a tolerance for their constant, childish squabbling. Lottie, the younger twin, had the gift to capture ghosts, make them corporeal, and then bend them to her will. She often used her gift in petty ways, like kissing them for what Leonna called practice for the real thing. Lottie would eventually let them evanesce to wherever ghosts went after passing on. The twins would go on and on and on about absolutely nothing of importance. Real ditzy, bratty airheads if you'd ever met one, both of them. Petyr sighed deeply, tuning out their voices until it was just background static. They were too preoccupied with their insufferable wrangling to notice him enter the room anyways.

The only truly vile member of the Willow Gang, Tseren Rothschild, was not present, thankfully. The Willow Gang members, for all their flaws, were not cruel or even bullies. Tseren was the exception, and he had piercing crimson eyes that were the thing of nightmares in the dark. They glowed when he used his gift, but he rarely used it for some reason. He was likely off tormenting some poor first year, and Petyr despised him for this. But in the name of his personal objective, he kept his lips sealed and tolerated being around him. The only consolation was that Tseren did not bully Lysander, perhaps because Petyr was a member of the gang, a pardon he saw as a residual benefit of his affiliation with them.

The members of the Willow Gang, say for its newest recruit, Arthur, a fast-flying 2nd year from the House of Harold, had made it very clear that they would not be attending the Masquerade Ball. They found it beneath them and an affront against the much more high-profile dances and events they attended, thanks to the connections of the Willow Gang's leader, Montgomery Darling, who went by Monty for short. Yes, of THAT Darling family. His uncle was, in fact, the venomous Professor Cornelius Darling; though even he despised his uncle, but kept that sentiment well hidden and cordially interacted with his uncle when necessary. As such, Monty also had family in parliament, and his father owned a major company, so wealth and influence were nothing new to him. It was just another day—the polar opposite of Petyr's life and existence.

Monty was at the back of the room, lounging in an alcove with his golden tree monkey sleeping in his lap. As Petyr approached, he looked up, though his expression soured as he took in Petyr's costume. "I thought you weren't going." he said with a bitter undertone to his voice. Petyr propped himself up on one of the nearby tables and crossed his legs neatly. "I wasn't, but my homeroom teacher can be persuasive when she needs to be."

"Is that who you were with? That bimbo, Tessa?" Monty said, sounding jealous in his delivery of the question, though it was more like an accusation of fault. Petyr narrowed his eyes at the much taller, senior student, "Monty, don't talk about her like that." he said calmly, though the serious tone in his voice was evident. Monty cleared his throat, regretting his word choice. He had a way of speaking quite harshly about others, and under normal circumstances, he never cared who he offended. But he was often more cautious of his behavior when Petyr was around; perhaps some inner desire to appease him. Tseren had bitterly repudiated Monty for going soft whenever Petyr entered the equation. That was the spark that soured Tseren toward Petyr indefinitely.

Monty picked up his tree monkey, which yawned lazily, and then moved it to an overarching pole so it could sleep in its natural hanging position. He then walked over to Petyr and stood in front of him, leaning in and placing his hands on either side of Petyr's crossed legs. Monty was a 6th year in the House of Seraphine, and when Petyr first came to the school, it became evident very quickly that Monty had become undeniably infatuated with him. This was nothing new, as many students developed crushes on Petyr, as was his reputation at the school. But none of them was the heir to the Darling Empire. Everyone whispered about this unspoken reality, but never acknowledged it out in the open, especially not to Monty, who had his own issues to worry about. Petyr was aware of this, however.

"So--" Monty began, speaking in a low, intimate tone, "--who are you going with to the Ball then?" Monty stared deep into Petyr's odd-colored eyes, which always seemed to have a mystical twinkle to them. This further enraptured Monty into Petyr's captivating snare. Petyr looked at Monty, contemplating what to say with thoughtful consideration, "No one. I just promised Tessa I'd attend. Besides--" Petyr leaned in, meeting Monty halfway so their faces were only inches apart "--why do you care? I thought the Masquerade Ball was beneath you." Monty let out a deep breath through his nostrils and shivered feebly, as though fighting an urge to lean in all the way. Petyr returned to his original relaxed posture, raising an eyebrow curiously.

"It is, but you're going so--" Monty started.

"So?" Petyr asked softly.

"--so, I'm interested."

"Really? You're interested in the Masquerade Ball?"

Monty cleared his throat, "No. I'm interested in you."

Petyr, turned away, feigning shyness, "Right. I know." Monty seemed to take this coy expression positively, prompting him to lean in just slightly closer. Petyr peeped this, but didn't reject it. He had to play along (or rather, hard to get), so he turned back toward Monty, giving him that look. Monty swallowed hard.

"Anyways, were you able to speak to your Uncle?" Petyr asked.

The mention of his uncle caused Monty to frown a bit. "No." he responded curtly. Petyr noticed this sudden temperament shift and turned away, appearing regretful, "I'm sorry. It was foolish of me to even ask that of you. I just feel so...so desperate--Nevermind. It's okay. You don't have to--"

"No!" Monty blurted out, cutting Petyr off mid-sentence, "I mean, no. I want to help you. I will help you. I'll ask him tomorrow about it."

"It's okay. You really don't have to. I know how much you hate him." Petyr said with a demure expression upon his countenance. This look seemed to invigorate Monty further, "I'm sure. I want to."

"Okay." Petyr said softly, giving Monty a delicate close-lipped smile. Monty returned the smile, and they gazed at each other quietly, the stillness of the moment only broken by Lottie's silly interjection, "I'd rather kiss another ghost. Can you both get a room already? Ugh!" she scowled, leaving the Astronomy Room with Leonna in tow. Their bickering could be heard down the corridor as the door shut slowly behind them. Petyr and Monty turned back to each other, "I should go." Petyr said, his voice quiet and enticing. Monty leaned back, allowing Petyr space to uncross his legs and plant his feet back on the ground before him. Standing, Monty was well built and stood at least a head or two over Petyr's more slim frame. Petyr always had to look up when they talked up close. With one last feeble smile, Petyr made toward the door.

"Wait!" Monty shouted after him, "I'll join you. I just need to change first. Wait for me outside our dorms, and I'll walk you there."


Patty Grumble

No one had noticed the shift in Patty's temperament and posture. She leaned forward in her chair, eyes inquisitively scanning the starry sky through the ballroom opening. Her ears twitched, as though she were hearing something or perhaps, feeling something even beyond the rambunctious noise of loud music, sparkling lights, and ebullient teenagers. As a weather witch, her gift allowed her to sense even minor changes in the atmosphere. A body moving through the rain was something she could feel, as though she herself were the one in the deluge. Sounds traveled on the winds and whispered in her ears. Bodies moving through the atmospheric skies, she'd feel that too. Patty was unsure of what it was, only that it was approaching the Academy. It -- being more than one. A look of concern filled her normally loose and genial face. Inconspicuously, she floated out of her chair, letting her knitting needle and mittens fall on the floor. While everyone was distracted dancing, she circled around to the back of the Ballroom, floated up to the open ceiling, and then slipped out into the night sky without a trace.

Day 1 Time: Twilight --> Night Weather: Cloudy, Moderate Rain Location: Skyship [Lower Deck Passanger Compartment] --> Open Skies Toward Harold's Academy Participants: Petyr@Aeolian, Tessa@Mirandae, Passengers

The ride in the skyship settled down for a while as the silence of a cresting night took hold. Petyr had fallen asleep soundly, despite the sneezing passenger a few rooms up, which echoed through the hollow wood walls. The ship cruised through the skies, making several stops at different sky islands along the way. It seemed the stop at Harold's Academy was one of the last on the line. The murky clouds took a darker tone as they shifted to a steady rainfall; the air became cooler, and the stars, at least where they were, were readily visible from the top deck. Though, of course, being down below, Petyr and Tessa could not admire the natural beauty of their world during the rainy twilight.

When Petyr awoke to the sound of wind and rain racketing against the outer hull, his eyes flickered open to the sight of Tessa musing to herself in a low mumble. In a modelesque kind of way, he ran his fingers through his curly hair, yawning, "What are you on about?" he asked, scratching at his brow as the low lights of the inner cabin swung about on their metal hinges.

"Huh?" Tessa snapped out of her trance. "Oh, eh, nothing--" A brimming smile clad her lips. "You're awake. Sort of lost you there for a moment," she continued while having a quick glance around the rather desolate place. "You can tell we're approaching the end of the line, yeah? Pretty empty, but we're not alone yet!" The lively blonde exclaimed and stood up, stretching her frame. "UURRHhh, man! My butt hurts like crazy. Let's walk for a bit, but maybe not outside -- sounds like we'd get quite the splash out there," Tessa chuckled under her breath, imagining the scene as an amusing pastime.

Petyr looked at Tessa as she stood up, and then he gazed around, musing on her words, "Yeah — had a weird dream." He rubbed at his eyes a bit, taking in that there were far fewer passengers around. The section they were in had an elderly woman snoozing with her mouth open, two teenage girls absorbed in a game involving golden thread, and a tall young man in a Flothápou uniform thumbing through a pocket-sized book. He must've been from Great Locswald, Petyr considered, and then he immediately thought of Professor Lovebourne. After a good stretch, he stood up beside Tessa, "It does look a bit barren, but I'm fine with--"

Crack! That sound, like a thunderous roar, cut his sentence short. Only, it wasn't a thunderous roar but a loud sneeze mixed with the sounds of an out-of-control firework. The sneezing became more persistent and violent, as did the loud crackling. Petyr looked toward the direction of the sound, and his thoughts went to the sickly passenger from before, the one sneezing fireballs, as Tessa put it. Though now, Petyr was actually concerned when he caught a whiff of what smelled like cinders or smoke.

"Do you smell that?" he asked Tessa in a calm voice, glancing down at her with a severe gaze.

Tessa let out a modest shriek at the abrupt noise. Her first train of thought ran to reckless kids playing with fireworks inside the ship. But, coming up alongside that thought was the recollection of the sneezing man from before their lull. Tessa froze her movement and distractions for the duration of focus on whatever her tiny nose could pick up, and Petyr was right in that there was a fiery-smokey scent spreading all around them. "I do--" Tessa began and let go of her spearheaded attention. She curiously cast her sight around the cabin, finding the sleeping woman and the distracted youths unmoved by the change in mood. "--must be that old guy from earlier, no?" She said with a curious but concerned tone. "Come on, let's check it out." Tessa quickly gathered some of the things that she had spread out around their seating -- the current issue of some obscure fashion magazine, an obnoxiously yellow scarf, and a designer handbag that was way too big for her.

It must have been the sick man from before. What else could it be? A daemon attack, perhaps? While unclear, it was true that the students of Harold's Academy trained for these sorts of unforeseen moments. Petyr nodded to Tessa, then used his inner vitesse to lift himself gracefully into the air. He floated there, gaining a better bearing of the smell and sounds. Though it was generally ill-advised to fly indoors due to safety reasons, it was a much faster way to move about swiftly.

Assuming Tessa was right behind him, he flew past the sleeping woman and the teens and the Flothápou, the latter being the most concerned of the passengers, as he stood up and shifted his glasses anxiously. Petyr flew through two empty passenger rooms, the smell of smoke getting stronger. He could see plumes of dry black smog seeping from under the closed door of the third passenger room, and he froze, hovering and swatting away at the smoke that inundated his senses. He coughed and then settled back to the floor; the rising smoke was too much for him to remain airborne. His hearts thrummed rapidly. A few more coughs left him before he turned to Tessa with a strained voice, "I think — there's a fire."

Petyr coughed again, putting his hand on his chest to steady his breathing. "What should we do?"

Tessa touched ground a moment prior to Petyr. The hostile air was way too much for her senses. Besides, she was not supposed to fly around indoors as a representative of the Academy, and definitely not allow her students to do it.

"Be careful, honey." Tessa reached for Petyr's arm to gently lead him away from the obviously dangerous situation. The safety of her students, especially as a Mentor, was her only concern during outings like this. "We should inform the other passengers back there--" Tessa began but was interrupted by a violent expulsion by the old man on the other side. The door from which the smoke had tried to escape burst open with raging flames and wooden splinters. The spectacle was like an explosion — as if someone had fired a cannon at the door from the opposite side. Perhaps the man had forced himself to sneeze again in an attempt to get out.

Everything happened in a split second, and both of them would have been seriously injured if not for Tessa's reflexes. Her eyes had widened in that same moment, all manner of internal functions involving Vitesse and other chemical reactions spurring and spinning up into high motion. The smoldering debris from the shattered door and brightly colored flames forcefully slowed down their aggressive advance. Tessa stood there, intently staring at the beautiful time-slowed chaos. "Petyr--" she began, although with noticeable strain weighing down her tone. "--pick me up and move us away from this."

At that moment, and not unlike his traumatic fiery experience at the orphanage, Petyr had turned away from the door as the explosive decimation sent flames, debris, and shrapnel barreling toward them. If not for Tessa's gift, things could have turned out much worse. He looked on in tempered amazement as the flames and other bits of wood carnage moved toward them at a snail's pace. He hadn't even noticed his own survival instincts kicking in; his naturally dark brown skin had shifted cornflower blue, and his hair grew long and flowed about him as though submerged underwater. The fine scales upon his flesh shimmered faintly.

He looked at Tessa, who he could sense was straining under the pressure of sustaining her gift to keep the advancement of the flames slowed down to a crawl, at least long enough for them to move to a safer position. Without hesitation, the blue-skinned 18-year-old ducked under the almost frozen plume of smoke overhead and swooped up Tessa in his athletic arms; being a Waaga player came in handy for his physique, it seemed. He carried Tessa like a damsel and ran with her back toward the previous room, talking to her through tepid breaths, "What about — the man? Shouldn't we — go back for him?"

When they were enough paces away from danger, Tessa relaxed her focus, and the blast carried out its purpose. The absolutely worst part of Tessa's gift was how it affected sound, which had been particularly unpleasant in this case. However, being handled by this God-like man was enough of a distraction to take her mind off of that ghastly rumble. "He's probably coming out of there, no? There's an exit now." Tessa returned her gaze to where the door had been just moments ago. As she suspected, the old man came running out of the inferno, coughing and cursing, sniveling, and parts of his clothes having been burnt to a crisp. Even if the perpetrator -- if one could call him that -- was safe, the flames that he had caused had not ceased in their consuming desire. The situation rapidly escalated as the fire spread. "Hey guy, maybe you shouldn't travel on wooden things when you have a cold," Tessa snapped at the old man. She was not prone to being angry, but there were some things in this world that certainly annoyed her from time to time.

Looking like a blue-skinned celestial from another realm, Petyr let Tessa down gently and then turned back to the fast-approaching flames as the old man ran out, tattered and bewildered, but otherwise unharmed by the flames of his own gift. Petyr nodded in agreement when Tessa snapped at him.

The old man sniveled, though it seemed the last explosive sneeze emptied his tank, and there were no signs that he would sneeze violently again. "It only started when I got on this skyship. My wife is ill and I --" the man stopped himself from rambling and looked around with a panicked expression "-- I don't know how we're gonna get out of here! I can't extinguish the flames!"

Petyr, ran his fingers through his hair again, a curious expression upon his face as the remaining passengers approached. "Sir, calm yourself. We'll figure something out," Petyr said to him. The man began taking deep breaths -- in and out -- as the flames had made their way into the room just before their own, the first vestiges of smoke seeping through the threshold, hanging overhead. The teen girls were holding hands, looking as frightened as startled owlettes. The old woman who was asleep through most of the ordeal had finally awoken and was rightfully frozen with fright and confusion.

The Flothápou, who at first stared in amazement at Petyr's magnificently beautiful and unusual blue form, shook his head clear of the unintended bewitching, "Err — I've sent a parchment message to the Committee of Safe Passage. It appears the Royal Guards have already been dispatched and are en route."

"What good will that do if we get cooked alive before they arrive?" shrieked the old woman. The teen girls started crying as the sick man who caused this mess to begin with remained silent, fearful of what might happen once the Royal Guards discovered he was the unintentional perpetrator.

Tessa stood there for a moment, thinking carefully. And then she had an idea and moved closer to Petyr, resting a sisterly hand on his arm. "Think you can blow a hole in the hull? Make an opening where there is none." Petyr considered her suggestion for a moment, never having really used his gift on something so thick and sturdy as the entire wall of a large skyship. Still, he reckoned quietly; it was worth a try, considering their current predicament.

The smoke and flames were fast approaching. The old woman began coughing, as did the teenage girls and the Flothápou. "Ok." he said to her through a cough of his own and then shouted over the roaring of the impending fire, "Everyone, move back." Tessa made a motion to get the passengers to move away from Petyr. He stood a distance from the wall and faced it with a cool, focused expression.

Gathering the vitesse that rippled under his cornflower blue skin, the scales that adorned his flesh rippled, fluttering off his skin and swirling in front of him, following his precise hand motions. When enough of his scales joined together in a way that looked like little globulus fractals of blue iridescent stardust floating before him, he projected the blue "fairy dust" forth with one swift hand movement, and they exploded upon impact against the wood hull. It took three more attempts before he eventually blasted a hole right through, allowing he, Tessa, and the passengers to fly out into the empty wet sky, which had now turned to night.

They all flew a fair distance away from the skyship, watching as the flames completely consumed the old vessel, steam rising as the unnatural fire met the rain. This ship was likely to be a goner before the Royal Guard could arrive, a relic to perish within the Endless Ocean Below. Parliament would surely conduct an investigation into the cause of this incident, no doubt. Tessa hovered over to him, smiling brightly as she often did, a twinkle in her eyes. "Nicely done, Petyr. You really saved those people just now," she said sweetly. Petyr smiled feebly through rain-soaked bangs, though he couldn't help but think of the fire that consumed the orphanage where he used to live. The thoughts penetrated his psyche, and it was only by Tessa's light tapping, did he escape this revelry. He immediately then shifted back to his normal human form. Meanwhile, Tessa took out a fancy piece of parchment from her purse, writing a message to Headmistress Minerva about what had happened (the parchment remained dry), and then when she had finished, they flew through the rain the rest of the way back to Harold's Academy. It wasn't too far off. It was likely they had enough Vitesse to make it in time for the Moonlight Masquerade Ball without the aid of a sky vessel. But unbeknownst to Petyr, as he traversed the wet open skies back to school, was a small rose petal tucked into the right pocket of his sopping cloak.

Day 1 Time: Night Weather: Moderate Rain Location: Harold's Academy [Main Ballroom] Participants: Just About Everyone, Anastasia Arslan (Mentioned)@Ti, Myrion Stevar (Mentioned)@Teyao, Wolfgang Weiss@Aeolian, Lady Penelope Upperton@Aeolian

A strange air filled the ballroom as the main event was about to begin. Subtle whispers of Headmistress Minerva's sudden departure from the Academy was peculiar, if not a bit alarming. No one knew of the reasons, not even her son, Wolfgang, a sixth year from the House of Harold. Naturally, the students speculated amongst themselves, their many hypotheses all wrong, of course. Wolfgang, being extremely popular and well-liked, made efforts to quiet the rumors of his mother's nonattendance at the Masquerade Ball. Even stranger, Professor Magus Babalu and Professor Krystal Heartfilia were both absent from the festivities as well, having joined Minvera aboard her private, inconspicuous skyship to god knows where, for god knows what.

Nonetheless, Minvera made preparations for the Masquerade Ball in her absence, leaving Professor Patty Grumble as the de facto leader of the school until her return. The latter of whom was positioned on the second level of the Ballroom, sitting squat in an old chair she'd placed out for herself and knitting something like a mitten for one of her many caits.

The Illuminaires (and student council members by proxy) were often tasked with organizing, preparing, and executing many of the academy events (with the guidance of Minvera), just one of their many duties. Some were more involved than others, but the leadership of Anastasia Arslan and Myrion Stevar proved to be a great asset in getting the processions of this night underway. The Ballroom was magnificent. Beyond just the decorations and the live music, of which Professor Theodore Grisvögel somehow inserted himself into, the glass dome covering the Main Ballroom allowed for the serenity of night to bask the room in an aura of moonlight's gleam that rippled across every surface. And when the dome glass receded, allowing for the crisp cool air to filter in, the starlight echoed off the chandeliers and created little diamonds of light floating about the Ballroom, incorporeal, but beautiful all the same. It was still raining outside, but Professor Grumble, with her gift to control the weather, made sure not a drop of rain fell into the ballroom.

With most of the catered food now set, thanks to the efforts of Eusebia's Illuminaire, Myrion, the Academy kitchen maids brought out spreads of food that were based on classical Lekëon food traditions, only prepared and eaten during special holidays and celebrations. You could say there was somewhat of a cuisine renaissance in the decade following the Time of Tears. Even still, some older Lekëons within and outside of the commonwealth sky islands, choose to prepare these traditional foods more often than the younger crowds, a symbol of the times more or less. Nonetheless, this spread was truly magnificent to the eyes and the smells were familiar and homely, like a blast from the past. There were opaline petal drizzle sweets, glittercakes, truffles, nectar fritters, gilded pralines which could turn your tongue golden if you ate too many, velvet tartlets, goblets filled with sour elixir, starlight Éclairs, sugarplums (popular among the Royal Family), sunberries and just so much more — a true feast of sweet and savory all in one.

When it was finally ready for the Masquerade Ball to officially commence, Minerva's son, Wolfgang, flew high into the air above the crowd, which had mostly filled out by this point in dresses and suits and extravagant masks. Wolfgang himself wore a mask that resembled an abstract lion and his old-fashion Edwardian costume was a darker red, like maroon or cardinal. In his hand was a crystal, encased in a glass orb. He tapped it, grunting "Errm errm! Hello! Testing Testing!" At the sound of his voice, the crystal lit up and his voice reverberated loudly throughout the Ballroom, drawing everyone's attention from their personal conversations. The live band, who were just playing casually on the main stage for ambiance sake, went silent. A large gaggle of girls at the front of the crowd cheered chaotically, drawing a pleased grin from Wolfgang. "I guess it's on," he chuckled, winking to the group of exuberant fangirls. He loved the attention, as was Wolfgang. "Hello everyone, new and familiar. If you don't know me, I'm Wolfgang Weiss — yes, THAT Wolfgang." he began in an arrogantly suave tone, drawing more cheers nonetheless and a few queasy glares from his anti-fans. "Let us first thank our spectacular Illuminaires for, once again, putting this Ball together. It wouldn't have been possible without them."

Cheers and claps followed again, silencing once Wolfgang held his hand up. "My mother, Headmistress Minerva, will, unfortunately, be absent from the Moonlight Masquerade Ball tonight, which I know many of you have already become aware of." Sudden whispers rippled throughout the crowd of students, drawing a strained look from Wolfgang, like he was desperately trying to mask his annoyance with a smile, though his eyebrows couldn't help but furrow in irritation. He continued, hoping to silence the gossip, "By the way, you all look absolutely stunning tonight." Loud cheers again. He smiled, seemingly satisfied, and continued, "As I was saying, there is nothing to worry about. So we can CAN all the gossip--" he paused for extra emphasis "-- immediately." Wolfgang cleared his throat, "Anyways, in my mother's temporary absence, I have been tasked to introduce our special guest. She's bold. She's beautiful. She's timeless. She's a fashion icon. Everyone wants to hear her sing live, but few get the chance. So please welcome, the one and only --"

Before he could even call out the guest's name, the students cheered again; there were rumors that it could be any number of musicians from their time, though a select few were floated during the weeks leading up to the Ball. Celestina Warmletter, Lazlo the Dreamer, The Mystic 9, Caits Laughing; any one of them would have drawn loud roaring cheers from the students. They were all very popular with the younger Lekëon crowd. But there was one musician in particular who, despite her age, had found a way to morph her singing and music so that she could appeal to the older generations and the new kids on the block. And that singer, of course, was -- "Lady Penelope Upperton!" Wolfgang howled into the sound projection crystal.

At that moment, a burst of gleeful, adoring cheers sounded from the students as Lady Penelope Upperton, in all her radiant glory, came floating down from the Ballroom sky opening. She remained hovering in the air where Wolfgang had been just before. Lady Upperton was an older woman, but beautiful and famous for having aged like fine wine. She wore an extravagant golden dress from Elara Lyra, a one-of-a-kind tailored just for her. And she was one for occasions and came with her own ornate golden mask, which revealed her plush lips and golden irises. The dress swished around her as she floated in mid-air, looking down at the crowd smiling; it was the frou-frou of it all. Shortly after, her background singers floated down as well and hovered just behind her, preparing themselves with their own voice crystals that matched the one Lady Upperton was holding, only slightly duller. The contracted band, who remained on the floor, had already been instructed on what to play once Lady Upperton arrived.

The magnificent woman did a traditional Lekëon air curtsy and then didn't waste a second to begin her performance. "Come on band, hit it!" With a start, the band began playing traditional ballroom Lekëon music, and Lady Upperton started dancing around in the air, singing and twirling like a ballerina, like she did in her glory days. Penelope, despite Petyr's protestations, had a very charming, almost southern old-fashion accent, which made her singing voice notably warm and enchanting. "Alright, sugas', grab your partnas' and take to the skies. This is my new single, The Crystal Rose Will Not Fall Tonight. Played fust, right here, mhmm." For the unfamiliar first years, dancing during the Moonlight Masquerade Ball was not done on the floor, but in the air, as was tradition.

So, at last, the Ball was officially underway.

However, a strange feeling did linger, still. And little did the students know, that this would be a Moonlight Masquerade Ball they would never forget. And not at all because of Lady Upperton. But not just yet...

Day 1 Time: Night Weather: Moderate Rain Location: Uninhabited Sky Island [Crysal Caves] Participants: ???, ???, ???, ???, ???

The time was of grave urgency, as something unpleasant loomed not too far out in the distance. The group, consisting of three men, a woman, and a teenage girl, had taken shelter on an uninhabited sky island, hiding for the past few hours within a crystal cave.

"We cannot remain here." the woman said, rummaging hurriedly through a tattered bag she'd heaved off her shoulders. The teenage girl was standing at the entrance of the cave, the glow of the makeshift fire illuminating behind her. The large crystals embedded in the walls created their own source of light too, basking the cave in a bluish-hue as water dripped from above and slushed underneath their feet. "You can hear them, can't you? Their song --" she began, holding out her tongue to catch the rain, "-- but it's different somehow. An unnatural song for them."

"Yes! Which is why we need to keep moving. We have to meet her. Something about them isn't right, and we can't go to the authorities. They'll ship us off to Prison the moment we lay foot at their doorstep. Minerva is our only answer."

The oldest of the men was lying near the makeshift fire, a puddle of red around his silhouette, his left arm, where it should have been, completely severed; just the mangled after bits remained. He screamed loudly until the pain became so unbearable, it turned numb. At last, with his nerves depleted, he sighed knowingly, heaving through breaths that became more feverish and shallow, his flesh going cold. "Just -- leave me --here. Fly. Fly as fast -- as you can, and don't -- look back! I've lost too much -- blood. My time -- is near."

"Grandfather, no!" The teenage girl made for him, but was stopped when the second man grabbed her by the arm, righting her to face him. "He's right. He'll only slow us down, and he wouldn't make it, anyways. We must go."

The girl gave her grandfather a longing look, tears welling in her eyes. He gave her an ephemeral smile, the kind you replay over and over again in your mind. And then his head went limp, and his eyes closed eternally. The girl's tears fell down her cheek, but a certain resolve filled within her, and she turned toward the entrance of the cave, determination driving her forward. The two remaining men and the woman came up beside her, looking at each other like this may be their very last flight together.

The third man, who had antennae sticking out his forehead and big buggy eyes, twitched. "The song is near. It's now or never."

The four nodded to one another and then took off into the rainy night sky, the fastest their Vitesse could will them. Several shadows flew overhead, just above the crystal cave, only moments after.

Hello All; this mystic is already a student at the academy, but let's welcome her induction officially, shall we?

Corrine Marchesi

Part machine — part Kissed Mystic, this seasoned 6th year from the House of Seraphine may have an artifice heart beating in her chest, but that won't stop her from exploring the true limits of her artificery skills and unusual gift to bring metal to life.
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