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Can I get this thread closed please, its no longer being used.

https://www.roleplayerguild.com/topics/185338-hoseforn-s-academy-for-gifted-adventurers/ic
Hoseforn sat alone in his office. His eyes were closed as he took steady deep breathes, his mind wandering from subject to subject. The dinner had gone as well as could be expected. It always brought some joy to the old man’s heart to see all of his students, new and old, wonder at the great feast and all that it offered. He thought of his beloved staff, who had all become like family too him, who were preparing even now for tomorrow’s lessons. And he thought of the dangers that awaited them all. The disappearances, the murders, the strange vibrations that seemed to be flowing from Ealinata’s core itself. There was so much to do, and what felt like so little time to do it.

“What would have done in my place, master.” Hoseforn whispered to himself. He often wondered at what Glitterthorne would have done in such strange and trying times. He had taught Hoseforn well, and yet he could never help but feel like there had still been so much left to learn from the old dragon. With a few more deep breathes, Hoseforn let his body relax and his mind wander further back, into the ethereal realm of dreams and memories…






…. Many years ago, in a small cave, on a forgotten island ….


Asmodius Hoseforn laid on his stomach with a large tome in front of him and a long piece of grass hanging nonchalantly from his mouth. A small ball of light hovered by his head, bobbing up down just a little, though not enough to disturb his reading. His legs kicked back and forth methodically and a light, inadvertent hum, tuned to a rhythm he couldn’t remember hearing, came from the boys’ lips.

The book in front of him was enormous, its pages old and yellowed with the passing of time. What had once been gold filigree on the edges and cover of the book had almost completely worn away, but still held some of its previous wonder and artistry. To most, the marking inside the book would have meant nothing, as few could speak the language of the dragons, much less read it. But to Hoseforn they were a treasure trove of knowledge and wonder. He studied each passage with an almost religious vigor, hoping to pull whatever secrets from the book he could.

But as the boy read the peaceful look on his face changed to one of confusion, and perhaps a little annoyance. He flipped back and forth between a particular pair of pages as if expecting something to jump out at him that he had somehow missed, but there was nothing. At last, he let out a sigh and turned to look at his companion.

“Glitterthorne?”

A massive and ancient golden dragon laid peacefully on the floor of his lair. Books, gold, and a range of strange and magical artifacts surrounded him. His body lifted and fell peacefully, obviously meaning he was deep in sleep. Or at least that was what the old dragon hoped it was portraying. Sadly, for the old dragon, his young ward was not easily deterred by something so trivial as manners.

“Glitterthorne?!” Asmodius called again, this time a bit louder.

Again, Glitterthorne attempted to look as if he was peacefully sleeping. The boy had so many questions, and never easy ones either. A curious mind was a wonderful thing, but when you well over 8000 years old, answering all of them was exhausting.

“GLITTERTHORNE!?!” Asmodius yelled. His voice echoing off the walls of the cavern. Glitterthorne let out a massive ‘hrumph’ the mighty breath knocking Asmodius’ hat askew. Finally, Glitterthorne opened one eye to stare at the petulant child. “What is it Asmodius? What is so important that it cannot wait until after I have slept.”

“I have a question.” Asmodius chimed.

“You? A question? How out of character. WHAT is your question child?”

“I think it might be a delicate question.” Asmodius added, seeming suddenly hesitant. “Promise you want get mad at me?”

“The only thing that will make me mad boy is how long it is taking for you to ask the damn question. Out with-it lad.”

Asmodius hesitated for another moment, seemingly rethinking what he was about to ask, but another blast of hot air from his master’s mouth forced him to move forward. “Why do none of these books discuss necromancy? The only thing they say is that its evil and not to attempt it.” The old dragon stared at his student for quite a while, an unreadable expression on his face. “Why?” It was such a simple question, but Asmodius could tell it was loaded with meaning. He suddenly felt very unsure of himself, as if answering the dragon wrong could end poorly for him. “I don’t know, it just seems strange. None of them give a reason ‘why’ its evil. They just say that it IS evil and leave it at that. How am I supposed to know if they are right if they don't give me any reason why they’re right?”

Again, the massive dragon stared at the boy, its face difficult to comprehend. “Is it not enough to be told that something is evil? Do I need to explain to you why murder is evil? There are some things in the world that are wrong by their very nature. Must these things be demonstrated to you?” There was no anger in the dragon’s voice, only caution. Hoseforn looked down for a minute, his face deep in concentration. “But you can just tell me anything. Someone can tell you that giving someone you love a flower is evil, that doesn’t make it true. And even if murder is usually evil, does it make it always evil? What if you’re defending yourself, or your family? I don’t think it’s as black and white as all that. Sure, there are some acts that are evil in and of themselves, but they are few, and should still be explained so that young impressionable people like myself don't try them out of blind curiosity or ignorance.”

Glitterthorne let out another massive sigh and a grumble. “You are too curious for your own good Asmodius, I pray that it does not lead you down a dangerous path. Fine, come with me boy. It is time for another lesson.” Hoseforn jumped up excitedly and followed the great golden giant out of its lair and onto the beach that sat just outside its entrance. Asmodius looked around a little surprised, as night had come without him ever realizing. A great and full white moon sat high in the pitch-black sky, tiny flecks of light surrounding it on all sides. While Asmodius was distracted by how long he had spent studying, Glitterthorne unfurled his long leathery wings and took off into the sky. To most it would have looked graceful and effortless, but Asmodius saw the small hesitations and twitches in his master’s body. Unnerving signals that his master was getting old.

Glitterthorne flew just above the water, the air from wings forming ripples on the water’s surface. He circled for a few minutes before suddenly folding his wings against his back and diving into the water. It had been so sudden that Asmodius felt a sudden pang of fear that something had happened to his master, but after a few moments the old dragon’s head reemerged from beneath the waves, an enormous fish in his maw, and paddled back towards the shore. This too was fascinating for Asmodius to watch. While it was little surprise that dragons moved so gracefully in the air, it was a surprise that they could move almost equally as well in the water. Glitterthorne’s entire body swayed, much like an eels would, and seemed to cut through the water with little difficulty.

The old dragon made his way onto the beach and placed the large fish on a small rocky outcropping. The fish still twitched and spasmed, but it was obvious that the initial bite had ended the creature’s life. “Come here Asmodius.” Glitterthorne commanded.

Asmodius moved quickly to his master’s side, staring from the fish to the dragon with an inquisitive expression. “Death, in all its fascist, is a natural part of the order of things. Do you remember who it is that rules over the dead?” Hoseforn nodded lightly, “Of course, death is Grimma’s domain.” Glitterthorne nodded once before continuing. “Indeed. Grimma’s followers are worshippers of death, decay, and the void. Among all the clergy, there are none who worship the shadows more than they do. And yet, they despise necromancy. Any guess why?” Asmodius was a little surprise at the statement. He had never really thought about it, but if there was any he would have thought practiced the necromantic arts it would be the followers of Grimma. After a long moments consideration Hoseforn finally shook his head. He could think of no-good reason why. Glitterthorne seemed almost pleased at this, though Asmodius wasn’t sure why. “It’s because necromancy is not a natural art. Necromancy is a perversion of death. It is, I think, not an evil act in and of itself, however. Many cultures believe that the body is sacred, but once the soul is released the body is nothing but an empty vessel.”

Glitterthorne stared down at the large fish, that had finally stopped moving. He raised one of his large claws and began to move his long taloned appendages in a complicated pattern. He then began to speak in a strange language that Asmodius had never heard before. It certainly wasn’t draconic, which was the language most often spoken when casting magic. It sounded like an infernal language, but it had a strange hiss too it that sent shivers down Asmodius’ spine. With a final slashing movement, the spell ended, and an eerie green light engulfed the fish. For a second nothing happened, and then the fish began to wriggle and hop up and down. Rodrick moved towards it in wonder, a myriad of questions forming in an instant. But something he held him back. The longer he looked at the fish the more…wrong it felt. There was no life in its eyes. Its movements were jerky and uncoordinated in a way that was strange, even for a fish stranded on dry land. “It’s not terribly comfortable to look at, is it? This is what a creature without a soul looks like. I can control its movements with several strands of mana, I can command it act like a fish on land would act but it never looks quite right. This type of magic is discomforting to witness, and that is generally enough for others to label it as evil. But that is not where the true evil lies.”

Asmodius watched the fish for a few moments longer before finally asking the question who knew Glitterthorne was waiting for. “Where does the true evil come from then?”

“It is draining and impractical to constantly control a corpse like this. And in most cases, the necromancer is looking to control an army of corpses not just one. So, they’ll pull the creatures soul back into its body, and trap it there. They’ll then enslave the creatures mind, so that it has no choice but to do their bidding. Souls that have departed this world are not meant to be forced back. It’s not only traumatizing, its excruciatingly painful for them. Their pain doesn’t cease either. They become trapped, in a body they cannot control, and in a constant state of pain. That is why so many consider necromancy an evil art, and why none of my books explain how it works. A soul is an expression of pure life magic and contains a creature’s entire essence in a way that we do not entirely understand, to corrupt it is an abomination.”

Asmodius continued to stare at the fish for a moment, obviously deep in thought. Finally, he turned back to look at Glitterthorne again. “I thought some priests were able to bring back people from the dead. How is that not an evil act?”

“It differs in the way’s the power operates on the soul. Resurrection is an act blessed by The Four. It can only be done on a body that died from physical wounds, never sickness or old age, and requires any especially egregious wounds to be healed first. It also always requires a willing soul, if a departed being does not wish to return, for whatever reason, the resurrection will fail. It is the choice that matters in all of this, I think. Sometimes all we have are the choices we make. It is the one common gift that we are all born with and to remove that gift, is an especially evil act. Do you understand now?”

Asmodius considered everything for a long moment. He continued to study the fish, its body moving in that unnatural way, before finally responding. “I think so. Though I have one more question. What about a person’s own soul? Is it even possible to interact with your soul? Is it evil then?”

Glitterthorne paused for a moment, and then released the spell on the fish, allowing the disturbing and unnatural movements to finally cease. “Why, Asmodius, can you never ask me an easy question?” Glitterthorne said with a heavy sigh.

“In theory, it is possible. But it is so incredibly dangerous that no one is dumb enough to try it. Altering your soul alters you as a person, change the wrong thing and the results are unpredictable at best and catastrophic to everything around you at worst. Remember, the soul IS magic, a pure expression of it. It is powerful and unstable in countless ways. Please, for the love of the gods and everything on this planet, do not try to alter your soul.”






A knock on the office door caused Hoseforn to snap awake from his memories. He took a second to compose himself, before calling out. “Come in” The twin doors to Hoseforn’s office swung in smoothly and Maurine sauntered into Hoseforn’s office. Currently she looked like a rather attractive woman in her 30’s, but even in her human form she exuded an almost alien sense of power and confidence. “Afternoon headmaster. You left the dinner in a hurry, is everything alright?” She asked, her voice silky and almost regal sounding.

“Yes, I suppose I did. All is well, I simply needed a moment to think before meeting our guest tonight.” The door closed a moment after Maurine entered, signaling that she was the only who arrived.

“Where are the others?” Hoseforn asked curiously.

“Maya and Vermont are training, of course. They’ve trained at least once a day every day for the past two months. Not that I can blame them. And Throndrout said that he had an experiment that he needed to watch closely, less it explode…again.”

Hoseforn nodded, expecting the answer. “Fair enough. Though I had hoped they would be able to meet our guest. Their input would be welcome. And what of Dex?”

Maurine’s face soured just a little at the mention of the school’s master of the rogueish arts. “I believe his exact words were, ‘Can’t, I have shit to do.’” Hoseforn let out a small chuckle. “Well, whatever he is doing I’m certain it’s important. Recent events have kept him busy, perhaps even more so than the rest of us.”

“I understand the utility of keeping someone like….that.. around but it still makes me uneasy; regardless of how well he has his issues under control.” Maurine added with a disapproving look on her face.

“I know your concerns, Maurine. The situation is under control. He is a valuable member of this staff and I highly doubt we could find someone better suited for the work we must do here.” While his tone was light there was a sense of finality in his tone. Maurine did not protest the point any further, instead choosing to move over to Hoseforn’s desk, where she began to rummage through a large stack of papers that had been haphazardly thrown on to the desk.

After a few moments of, slightly awkward, silence, Athena’s voice chimed in. “Your guest has arrived, Master Hoseforn.”

“Excellent, please show him in.” After another few seconds the rooms to Hoseforn’s Office opened with an announcement from Athena. “Presenting the honorable Nih’Ras, beloved child of Na’Has and Chief among Na’Has’s Fangs.” Na’has strode into Hoseforn’s office, a look of amusement and mild wonder on his face. The tall and muscular man wore a pristine white robe while intricate jewelry adorned his head, neck, and chest that contrasted brilliantly against his deep brown skin.

Hoseforn stood and bowed low, pressing his fists together “Ah, welcome Chief Na’Has. We are honored to have you as a guest at our humble academy.” Na’Has smile broadened as he returned Hoseforn’s bow. “The honor is mine, Master Hoseforn. This place is full of wonder that I could only dream of.” Na’Has turned to Maurine who approached him and offered her hand. Na’Has took her hand in both of his and gently kissed the top of it. “As always, it is the greatest of pleasures to be in the presence of your beauty, most precious of Nih’Ras’s children.” Hoseforn thought for a moment he saw Maurine blush at the affection and admiration in the young Chieftain’s voice. But she covered it well as she placed her hand on top of Na’Has’s. “The pleasure is mine, sweet cousin. Thank you for doing this favor for us. Your help is greatly appreciated.”

“It is the highest of pleasure to aid however I may.” After a second’s hesitation he released Maurine’s hand and turned to Hoseforn. “I must thank you as well for continuing my brother’s development. I trust he will grow into a true and remarkable warrior under your guidance.”

Hoseforn nodded as he attempted to hide the mischievous smirk that threatened to form after the interaction between Na’Has and Maurine. “We are happy to have him. My understanding is that he is quite the warrior already.”

Na’Has sighed and rubbed the back of his head a little. “His skill with his blade and the lash ((the term used for the unique grappling hook used by Sa’Hari’s people)) are both excellent. It is everything else that worries me. He is too brash and stuck in his ways, especially for one so young. I fear that he does not see the value in others. There is the potential for greatness there, but it will waste away if he does not learn to grow.”

“We will do all that we can to aid him in his growth, you have my word on this.” Hoseforn gestured to a large couch near the center of his room. “Please sit with us. I am anxious to know what news your travels brought.”

“I fear the news is ill.” Na’Has said as he sat. Maurine sat next to him and Hoseforn took a seat across from them. “I think your worries are well founded Master Hoseforn. In every town we stopped there have been reports of more disappearances. In some of them it may have only been one or two, in others it was as many as ten.”

“Ten?! From one town?” Maurine said, aghast. “I’m afraid so. The towns people were devastated, as you would expect. Nearly everywhere we went the locals have become frightened and suspicious of outsiders.”

“Were there any signs of the missing people? Any bodies found?” Hoseforn asked as he rubbed his beard thoughtfully.

“No, the missing are never found. We tried to speak with any travelers as well, but few people traveled the roads. Most of those who did travel did so in large groups and kept to themselves. We had no troubles on the road, but I suspect it had to do with the size of our group. I am not sure what would happen if we were only a few.”

Hoseforn was silent for a moment, obviously deep in thought. “You’re right, this is disturbing news. I will have to have someone investigate where the highest number of disappearances have taken place. Perhaps there is a clue we kind there. Thank you, Na’Has. Though this news is unsettling, it is incredibly valuable.”

The three continued to speak for some time after that. Na’Has pointed out on a map where the greatest number of disappearances seemed to be occurring and what other news he had learned on the journey. Hoseforn and Maurine shared what little they knew of the disappearances and spoke a while about their plans for Sa’Hari’s training. After a couple of hours of conversation Na’Has excused himself, explaining that his party would be leaving before daybreak, as he was anxious to get back to his people and make sure they were all okay. The three said their goodbyes, the goodbye between Maurine and Na’Has seeming... odd.

Maurine watched the door as Na’Has left, an odd unreadable look on her face. After a moment she turned to see Hoseforn staring very hard at an upside-down piece of paper. After a moment he looked up and began to speak before Maurine cut him off. “Not a word.”

“What? I didn’t say anything.”

“Let’s keep it that way. I don’t need any of your remarks.”

“Remarks? Remarks on what? I see nothing to remark on.” Hoseforn went back to looking at the paper he was holding, flipping it so that it sat the right way up. But after a moments pause. “Although….”

“DON’T!”






Sa’Hari looked at Karya with a slightly inquisitive look on his face. “Mountains? Oreads I meet in desert. Strange this?” To be fair he hadn’t spoken much to the Oreads who traded with his people. But if they usually lived in the mountains, they were quite a ways away from their homeland. There was probably a good reason for it, he supposed.

When she asked if he was human, he hesitated. “Ehh, human? Not quite. I am child of Na’Has. We are not same.” This was a concept Sa’Hari knew he was not equipped to explain well. His people looked human, but the power of their demi-god flowed through each of their veins. It allowed them to change, become stronger, faster, and harder to hurt. It was this blood that made them such fierce warriors as well. If anything, they were more closely related to the Naga that once called the desert their home then humans, though he did not understand this concept well either. All these things, Sa’Hari did not want to explain to an outsider. Karya seemed alright he supposed, but he didn’t trust her enough to explain his people’s ways yet.

Sa’Hari turned as he heard Athena chime in again, greeting another person to the room. A third roommate? A quick glance around showed him that he had indeed missed the third bed. Strange.

Sa’Hari looked at the newcomer, intent to begrudgingly greet them, and stopped cold in his tracks. The young person before him had a slender form and a curled set of ram’s horns coming from their head. Interestingly, they seemed to hold both feminine and masculine traits, though that mattered little to Sa’Hari. There was only one people he knew who looked like this ‘Wayafar.’ He though to himself, nearly hissing at the thought. He had rarely seen one in person, but every time he had the experience had not gone well.

Sa’Hari wasn’t exactly sure what had caused it, but a schism had existed between the Fang’s of Na’Has and the Wayafar people for generations. He had been taught by many of his elders that the Wayafar people were weak lambs, too easily led to slaughter. He knew of their love of stories and myths, but this was another mark against them in Sa’Hari’s mind. Stories were nothing but prettily told lies, not to be considered by any real warrior.

He had been close to expressing these thoughts with action or words, when things he had spoken of with his brother stopped him. Nih’Ras had spoken only a little of the Wayafar people, but he had always seemed a little sad that there was such strife between them. He had expressed, in confidence to Sa’Hari as most of his people would have balked at the ridiculous idea, a wish to mend the relationship between the two peoples and become friends or even allies. This was a hard concept for Sa’Hari to grasp, as the weak did not deserve such treatment. What was there to gain from a relationship with ones such as this? Still, he would dishonor his chief to act to rashly.
Sa’Hari lifted the hem of his hood so that it covered his mouth and hid any discomfort he felt from being in the Wayafar’s presence. He willed his body to relax, and it did… a little. Deliberately keeping his hand away from his sword he looked at the Wayafar, who was apparently named Taari, and simply said, “I..Am…Sa’Hari.” His voice was strained, but he managed to keep any audible hiss from it. He looked down as he heard a thud and saw Karya scrambling to her feet. It seemed she had fallen…again. ‘What is this hell you have placed me in, brother?’ Sa’Hari thought to himself, groaning internally.

@LuckyBlackCat@StOpossum
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In OBLIVION 2 mos ago Forum: Casual Roleplay
there are about 6 people from the interest check we are waiting on; i'm going to a friend's for a week on monday where i'll still have access to the internet and can type stuff up from my phone since i pre-made all the templates i'll need, but i would prefer to have completed the application stage by then.

@Sweven7@VolcanicLaval@Martian@ChaoticLaw@CollectorOfMyst@Hayazo — any word on your characters/interest in the roleplay? just a quick line to say whether you're working on somebody or you no longer wish to participate. ideally need to know by the end of sunday (bst) so i can push things forward

i will also say it's best to leave the trivia/relations discussion until after applications end. i don't want people to feel they've wasted effort if they don't get accepted.


I wont have the free time to dedicate to this like I thought I would, so I am going to bow out.
I like this idea. Count me among the interested as long as you aremt too full.


Lorelei & Rodrick


Rodrick craned his head around in an attempt to see who was talking to him. For a moment he thought it might have been Athena, but the voice was wrong, not bland enough frankly, to have been Athena’s. When he saw the young woman in nothing but a towel, a myriad of thoughts ran through his head all at once. The first was that there was a young woman in his room. The second was that the young woman happened to be pretty, and was wearing, what looked like, nothing but a towel. The third was that she had said something about him moving or being cuddled with, the strangest threat he had ever heard. And the fourth, wasn’t really a thought as much as it was simple and pure panic.
Rodrick made some noises, half of them sounding like he was being strangled, before he managed to dredge up a… somewhat, coherent statement. “Oh, uh..er Hi. Yes hello.” He could feel his face somehow turning redder than it already was but he managed to fight down the urge to turn his head back into the couch and die. The alcohol finally took over and he was able to get out a real sentence. “Well, as much as I love the threat of a good time I guess a gentleman would move then wouldn’t he?” Rodrick tried to push himself up, but his arm was sucked in by the couch at every attempt. It didn’t help that the world seemed to be spinning out of control, quite literally. After a few more useless attempts he finally gave up with a sigh. “Sorry, it seems like I make a shitty gentleman. I’m Rodrick by the way. That's a...very nice... towel?” He said, making sure his eyes were glued to her face and didn’t wander.

Lorelei merely watched in amusement as Rodrick struggled to say something. She let out a small giggle, probably enjoying this far too much, but was impressed when he seemed to recover fairly quickly. ”I suppose a gentleman would…” She said with a smirk, deciding to keep up the fun. ”But where’s the fun in that.” She finished, a teasing tone to her voice. She’d definitely leave a memorable first impression. It was his next statement that caught her a little off guard and she couldn’t help from letting out a laugh.

”You think so? I’m not so sure, I don’t think it’s the right color for me.” She looked down at the towel, as if examining an outfit. ”You’re cute, Rodrick. Thanks for making me laugh. I’m Lorelei.” She said as she moved over to her bed and started picking through the small amount of things she had. ”You also don’t need to worry about being a gentleman around me. As you can see, I’m definitely not a proper lady.” She finally found a pair of pajamas and turned back around to face him.

Rodrick felt his face grow just a bit warmer at being called cute. Feeling just a little vulnerable laying face down on a couch, he took a moment to breathe, and then pushed with all his might against the diabolically comfortable sofa. “Lorelei, that's a lovely name.” It would have sounded more like a compliment if he hadn’t been struggling so much to sit up. With one final heave, and far too much effort, Rodrick managed to sit up almost straight on the couch. He let out a sigh of relief before turning to look at Lorelei, still doing his best to not let his eyes wander where they shouldn’t. “Well, I’m glad I could be of some service.” He paused for a moment before adding, “That’s good to know. I hate being a gentleman, all the bowing and hand kissing and pretending to have manors. It gets exhausting.”

Despite the constant feeling of panic in his chest, Rodrick was surprised he was actually managing to keep up a conversation. Something had definitely been different about that wine. He wasn’t sure if it was magical, drugged, or magically drugged, but he had the feeling if he was going to have Lorelei as a roommate he would need a lot of it. He had the sense she was enjoying his poorly concealed terror. “So, what brings you to this magical place of sassy talking rocks and drugged wine?”

“Hoseforn’s Academy does not drug any of its food or beverage. Perhaps if you are feeling unwell, you should avoid over indulging yourself in the future.” Athena chimed in, in an incredibly unhelpful manner. “I didn’t ask you, pebble!” Rodrick retorted, attempting to turn and glare at the magical floating crystal, but only managing to make the room spin faster.

That crystal certainly was a sassy one, it was something Lorelei found quite entertaining. Though she was sure she’d eventually get fed up with it as well. She was just more curious about who would toss Athena out the window first, her or Rodrick. She supposed that would be determined in the coming weeks.

”Oh yes, all of that certainly would be exhausting. Especially pretending to have manners.” She walked forward until she was in front of him and leaned forward until her face was in front of his, yellow eyes peering into his. ”So why are you still pretending to have manners, hmm?” She smirked deviously at him before standing back up. ”You don’t have to be polite and focus on just my face, silly. I’m aware of how I look.” She giggled and turned to walk back towards the bathroom. She wasn’t about to let him know that the confidence she exuded wasn’t what she was actually feeling. Perhaps she’d walked out like this to give herself a confidence boost? She wasn’t entirely sure.

”While I’m curious at how much redder you could get, I’ll spare you for now and change out of sight.” Lorelei said before entering the bathroom, but she left the door cracked so she could continue talking. ”To answer your question, however, I suppose the simplest answer would be that I’m here because it’s better than where I was.” She sighed as she slipped her top on and then some shorts. She tossed the towel off to the side before exiting the bathroom once more. ”That and I hope being here can help me get revenge on the people that put me in the place I was before here.” There was a sweet smile on her face as she moved over to the couch and plopped down next to him. ”How about you? What’s the story of Rodrick, the darling pretend gentleman?”

Rodrick’s face did indeed manage to turn reder. He was almost impressed, he never knew he could feel so embarrassed, panicked, and fascinated all at once. There was no denying it now, she was getting a kick out of all of this. He supposed were he the attractive woman and she an easily panicked and drunk tiefling he would probably be enjoying it a little too. He did, however, decide to not concentrate on her face as she walked back into the bathroom to change. She had said it was okay after all. It would be rude not to admire her for just a moment. But as he was admiring he caught a glimpse of some scars on the young woman's back. The towel covered most of them, but it wasn’t hard to figure out what they were, and tell just how severe they must be. They didn’t subtract anything from her, but Rodrick felt a pang of anger and sorrow that he couldn’t quite place. Scars like that only came from the lowest dregs of humanity, the kind of people Rodrick had seen all too often, and wished nothing but the slowest and most gruesome of deaths on. The anger, and the fact that there was no longer a half naked woman in front of him, allowed Rodrick to collect himself a little bit. By the time Lorelei returned he was almost back to his regular shade of red.

“Ooooo revenge. A grand reason indeed. I have always loved a tale of scum and villainy getting what they deserve.” He paused for a moment as he considered her question. “As for why I’m here… I guess for a similar reason. This place has to be better than the festering shithole that is most of Balmaria.” He paused for another moment before adding, “I suppose it would be nice to find some actual purpose in life, rather than living in a constant state of fear that you’ll be stabbed for looking at someone wrong. Or because some starving and desperate sod thinks that your last three coppers should be their last three coppers.” He sat silently for another moment, before realizing that he had just been extremely honest, something that he was not in the habit of doing, with someone he had met a whole 10 minutes ago. His face, once again, turned an incredibly deep shade of red. It was actually starting to hurt a little. “Sorry.” He said, not sure why he was apologizing but feeling that he should. “There is absolutely something unnatural about that wine they served tonight.” He half expected Athena to pipe up again, but she didn’t. Her silence was all the proof he needed. That was not normal wine!

Scum and villainy. Those two words repeated themselves in her head a few times as she knew many would describe herself with those words. She was forged into a villain from a young age, but did that mean she would now always be a villain? Was there hope for her to be a hero? We're heroes and villains even real? The mention of Balmaria pulled her back to the conversation at hand. "Oh gods, please let this place be better than Balmaria." She said with a small laugh, but she found herself rather interested in all he had to say. It seemed he didn't have an easy life either, though that seemed to be a common thing when you grew up in the darker areas of Balmaria. She knew that all too well.

"I'd have to be inclined to agree with you. I normally have a hard time getting drunk and I definitely was feeling it after drinking some of that wine." She grinned and briefly glanced over to Athena, waiting to see if she'd say anything. After a moment, she looked back to Rodrick. "You know you don't need to apologize. I grew up in Balmaria too, I understand that fear." She said to him softly, a genuine kindness shining through. "Who knows, maybe this place can be a new start for both of us and give us purpose." She nudged him encouragingly.

Rodrick found himself smiling back at Lorelei. Real kindness was not something he was used to having around him anymore. He wondered for a moment at the fact that he had ended up with a roommate who could probably understand him, and vice versa, better than he could have hoped for. Just a little while ago he would have thought that the roommate selection was random, but now he was beginning to think that there was a lot more consideration put into the roommate situation then was obvious….. Or maybe it was all random, dumb luck. Either way, he decided then that regardless of how much she teased him, or tried to make his head explode with panic, that he was going to enjoy having this young woman as his roommate.

He opened his mouth to say something, when a tiny flash of light caught his eye. He turned his head to see two chilled glasses filled with, what he assumed, was water. They had certainly not been there before, which was a little creepy, but he understood their well intentioned appearance. Carefully, as the room was still moving, he wandered over to the small table, picked them up, and brought them back to the couch. Being extremely careful NOT to pour any of the water on Lorelei, he sat back down next to her and handed her one of the glasses. “Well then, to new starts and a better purpose.” He said, smiling warmly and lifting his glass to toast hers. He let out a surprised ‘Oh’ after taking a sip. “That's surprisingly nice.” It was, perhaps, the first drink of cold, and clean, water he had taken in a very long time.

The flash had caught Lorelei’s attention as well and she glanced over at the two glasses, rather impressed. ”Well how convenient is that…” She said as she watched Rodrick get up to grab them. As he made his way over to the small table she had a brief moment where she wondered if she should have gotten up to get them as it definitely seemed like he was feeling the alcohol more than she was. He made it back after some time, however, and she thanked him as she took a glass. ”And to new friends.” She said as she lifted her glass to his before taking a drink. ”Oh gods, is the water here magical too?” She practically moaned before downing the whole thing. Either it was magical or she just was so used to dirty water and limited supply of water that it just tasted like the best glass she’d ever had.

@Tae

Sa’Hari stared at Karya for a moment. Gods she spoke quickly. He thought that he understood everything that she was saying but sometimes it was hard for him to tell. And she was so…..cheerful. His brother had always told him that he needed to lighten up and enjoy life a little more, but if this was the result of such an attitude he wasn’t sure how he felt about it.

Still, she seemed polite enough. Her bow was a little...wobbly, but it was the thought that counted in these things. Sa’Hari did not expect someone not of his people to understand their customs or be good at them. At the mention of Athena, Sa’Hari turned to see another, much smaller version, of the crystal that had been in the main hall. This magic was infesting even his room. This place was growing stranger at each turn.

"Welcome, Sa’Hari beloved one of Na’Has." Athena said, once again speaking in the strange hissing sounds of his people with near perfection. She had even used the correct honorifics for his tribe. "This will be your dorm room for the foreseeable future. There is a bathroom in the door to your right that you and your roommate may share if you do not wish to use the public baths. While sleeping in the dorm room is not strictly required, sleeping in any non sanctioned area of the school is forbidden and may result in disciplinary action." Sa’Hari bowed to Athena in thanks for the information. A few questions popped into his head, like what exactly a bathroom was, but he decided to hold off on asking them for a moment while he checked out the room.

After Athena finished her speech, Sa’Hari moved over to the fireplace and stared down at the odd stone with a pattern he had never seen before carved into. Suspiciously, he removed his scimitar from where it sat at his side, and gently poked the rock with the sword. When nothing seemed to happen, he did it again. Seeing that the stone was not going to try anything too horrible, he moved his hand down closer to it and felt the warmth that emanated from it. It felt nice. It reminded him of the warm breezes so common in his homeland. “It is good.” Sa’Hari said flatly, nodding once before turning to look at Karya again.

“It is well to meet you Karya.” Sa’Hari was ready to end the conversation there, but he had been ordered by his brother and chief to ‘make friends’. He supposed he would have try…….small talk. He groaned inwardly at the thought, but managed to hide any discomfort he felt about the idea. “You say you are..uhh...dryad? Is this like Oread?” A small group of Oread would occasionally visit his tribe to trade and swap news. From what Sa’Hari understood, the Oread did not generally go around most people. The gems in their bodies were considered precious, and the rotten men of the world would often try to take them. But Sa’Hari’s people were honorable, and there was not a slaver or bandit foolish enough to go anywhere near the Children of Na’Has, for if his people did not strike you down for your evil ways, their giant snake demi-god would. He had heard a few stories from the Oread in his youth, and he believed that one of them had mentioned their cousins, the dryads.

Sa’Hari paused for a moment before adding “And….why does fire not mix with dryad?”

@LuckyBlackCat



The trip from the Sirnaran Desert desert to Hoseforn’s academy had been a much longer trip then Sa’Hari would have thought possible. If he had been alone it likely would have only taken him 2 weeks to arrive from his village. But his brother,Nih’Ras, chief of his people, had insisted on coming with him on the journey. This was highly unusual, and Sa’Hari had protested a great deal, but his brother had stated that he had an important task of his own at Hoseforn’s and the matter was closed. It was not Sa’Hari’s place to go against the will of the chieftain.

The chief could travel nowhere without his personal guard, and so what would have been a band of only one or two ended up being a procession of nearly 30 warriors. That many men and horses took far longer to feed, and water, not to mention it regularly required camp to be set up. What should have taken only 2 weeks ended up taking almost 5. It did not help that they seemed to stop in nearly every town they had passed through. Sa’Hari thought he would be mad with the pace by the end. Still, he had to admit that the journey had been a fascinating one. Sa’Hari had never traveled out of the Simaran Desert. He had never seen so much green before in his life. Trees in his homeland were scarce, here they seemed to be everywhere you looked. The people out here were odd as well. He saw so few warriors, and so many men and woman worked in strange ways that made little sense to him. What was less fascinating were the large bodies of water. Those Sa’Hari did not enjoy near as much.






Sa’hari’s group arrived late in the afternoon a few hours before the feast was supposed to begin. Sa’Hari tried to sneak away quickly, wishing to avoid drawing to much attention to himself, but his brother caught his arm and pulled him to the side.

“Sa’Hari, do you understand why I gave you this task?” Nih’Ras asked in their native language. To those on the outside the words had a strange, almost hissing sound to them. Sa’Hari paused for a moment before shaking his head. “No.” His brother waited for a moment, as if expecting Sa’Hari to continue but it quickly became clear that Sa’Hari had no intention of saying anything else. With a sigh and a light laugh Nih’Ras grabbed his brother by both shoulders. “My brother, you are a good warrior. You posses many of the traits of Na’Has, you move fast, and your strike is deadly. You are smart, and wait for the right moment.”

Sa’Hari lowered his head slightly, knowing that a ‘but’ was coming. Nih’Ras grabbed his little brothers face and lifted it so they were staring eye to eye. “BUT, you are too damn rigid. The serpent flows and moves over the sand, it does not barge through it like a bull. This place has many wise teachers in it. Listen to them, learn from them.” Nih’Ras then lightly smacked his hands against both sides of his brothers face, grinning as only an older brother could. “And make some damn friends, life is too short to spend it in solitude.” Despite his best efforts, Sa’Hari smiled...just a little. He nodded once. “As you command, my chief.”

“And don’t you forget it. Now go.”

And Sa’Hari did. He entered the main hall to the wonder of the giant crystal Athena, that, too Sa’Hari’s amazement, spoke his people language rather perfectly. He wondered at the towering buildings and the strange map that changed as he moved.

The food at the feast had been amazing, much to Sa’Hari’s relief as he had feared that these strange people would cook equally strange food. He had watched the teachers carefully, as each of them had given off a feeling of strength that Sa’Hari had rarely witnessed. He worried little about the words of warning though. A true warrior was always prepared, this was not a new thing for Sa’Hari. He had sipped at the wine slightly, but decided to stick with water. He despised the feeling of drinking to much. It was his duty to always be in control of his body, alcohol would only make him weaker.

As he left the watched the small floating crystals with some minor interest. This place was infested with magic. It would take some getting used too. Though Sa’Hari didn’t have a problem with magic or its use, he never cared much about it one way or another. Still, he could see that these people used it in excess, and while it created many wonders, he couldn’t help but guess at the risks that came with it. Sa’Hari followed the map through the halls of the dorm room, his eyes wandering around wearily at the many students who searched for their dorm rooms. This place was strange. Why were there so many doors? How could one building fit so many in it?

He paused at the fourth floor, seeing that his map seemed to be pointing towards, he followed it slowly. He stopped before an open door, hearing some sort of commotion. Looking in cautiously, he watched as a young woman seemed to be looking around in discomfort. He stood silently in the hallway, likely just out of sight, as she poured a glass of water onto a small fire and then placed a rune on it. This was strange behavior indeed. The young woman seemed... nervous? Or excited? He wasn’t sure, these people were all so hard to read. He studied her for a moment. He supposed that she was pretty, though he was not sure why that should matter. Her skin was certainly unlike any he had seen. Dark like his but it had a fascinating texture to it like, much like the trees he had seen outside. She had a wild look to her as well, as if she had just come out from living with the creatures of the forest.

Sa’Hari was about to move away, not seeing any immediate danger, but when he looked down he saw that his map was leading him right to the open door. He looked at the number on the map, then at the number on the wall. He did this several times, before finally accepting that, yes this was his room, and yes, this woman was to be his roommate.

Sighing lightly, Sa’Hari stepped into the room, the door closing behind him softly of its own accord. Sa’Hari turned to glare at the door for a moment, making sure he wasn’t somehow trapped before turning back to the young woman. He pushed his palms together and bowed slightly at the waist, a common greeting for his people.

“Uh..Excuse? I...am Sa’Hari. This is room ….map told me to go.” His speech was slow and thought out. His voice a deep baritone with a heavy accent. While he could speak the common language, he wasn’t very good at it. It was hard to communicate in these words, there was no rhythm to them.

Sa’Hari turned and stared blatantly at the fireplace. “Did, fire..offend?”
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