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Mm, no. I decided I have enough RPs on my plate, and I wasn't really feeling a SOL focused one. Thanks for the notification though.
I'll see if I can make a post in the next few days. I franky haven't cared much for the train arc so far.
Asteria



Asteria listened to the conversation between the three goblins, noting that interspecies cooperation was as difficult as she may have imagined for natives. The mention of a Boss and sacrifices worried her, because if the leader was a necromancer, then Ed was just about to deliver a corpse for his use straight to the doorstep. Ah, well, hopefully the force of living vengeful Myrminors would come soon enough to take care of the bandits…

Asteria carefully observed the layout. There was one entrance on the bottom and one exit near the clifftop. There were two more enemies on the balcony, but it didn’t look like many more bandits *could* fit into the dugout cliffside. She quickly used Monster Analysis II on the human and the archer Hobgoblin, intending to gather information about them.

She wasn’t about to act against two enemies alone, though, especially not when it would notify the others, and soon returned the way she came. When she arrived at their meeting point, Ed was already back. “Oh, hey. I take it you did your part already. It would be just our luck if our plan backfired…I’ve heard mention of the Boss being able to use some kind of power based on sacrifice. For your sake, I do hope it has nothing to do with the undead. Also, besides those three, I’ve seen two more enemies up top; one human and another hobgoblin,” Asteria made her report.

“Listen, I’m just going to try and make contact with the beast. If it seems like I’m about to be noticed, I’ll return. If you hear a commotion, you better hide.” That said, she went fire right along the fence, up until she reached the cage’s location. She dug a tunnel right to the side of it, so that the hole and her entry were less likely to be seen. She was much more careful this time, as the trio was a bit closer than when she’d been entering to the left. Once done, she wriggled her way through, and warily stretched a paw into the cage with the beast. As soon as it made contact with her, she was prepared to use Telepathy to send a full blast of positive soothing emotion its way, to try and establish that she was not an enemy nor a snack. If all went to plan, she wouldn’t even loose a paw to the endeavor.
I'm wondering how you intend to handle the Telepathy branch of magic. It includes the kind of powers that are usually iffy if not outright restricted in RPs (especially the mind domination); they're powerful on paper but tend to be rather nerfed in practice (for due reasons). Even illusions can be difficult to pull off, since there's the question when and how can they be recognized by others.
Ankaa Liu



The two weeks of training under Nyx had been pretty standard stuff; physical training and meditation. Ankaa was quite successful at both, and didn’t particularly feel satisfied with just that. Instead, she contemplated all the spells, techniques, and strategies she’d seen her classmates exhibit at their first (and hopefully not also last) matches. Liu thought about how she’d match against each, and came to the unfortunate conclusion that there were not many she saw herself winning against for sure. There were only some she found it likely she’d get a draw against, and a fair number she admitted she’d probably lose to.

So, she also spent time to train on her own, perfecting her existing techniques and spells, and thinking of potential new ones she could learn and implement. Their lectures focused on the history of magic and mana; some thing she’d already known, and some she hadn’t yet – Ankaa listened to them all attentively, however, and made careful notes of the information new to her.

At some point in this period at the academy, she visited the Arcane painters with Kress and Misaiya. She’d discovered that the life-like paintings didn’t give exact information, but based on what she heard, she though that perhaps the things could be refined to provide more detailed knowledge on a painted person or even a painted location. However, she did not feel like dedicating years – because it would surely take as much – to such a pursuit. Nonetheless, drawing was a hobby of hers, and she’d not spent as much time using paints so far. Seeking to rectify that, Ankaa joined the club. It was more so of a leisurely activity for her than anything else, but everyone needed down-time, even her.

When she was just thinking that her current schedule was becoming an established routine, professor Nyx informed them that he’d managed to procure a mission for them. They were to apprehend two thieves and secure the artifact they’d stolen from their academy. The notion that all thirteen of them would be sent to seek for two thieves was a bit strange, but understandable; they were inexperienced, so the numerical advantage would do them good.

What Ankaa worried most about was that she’d not heard their instructor mention any sort of strategy to them yet, and she didn’t know if he already had something in mind and would fill them later on or if it would be all left to them. If just the thirteen of them had to come up with and agree on a plan…Liu sensed it would end very, very badly. They didn’t know one another well enough for one, and despite having a class representative, it was doubtful that all students would listen to Kiara. Never mind that it was an unknown how good of a strategist the other girl was.

The day of the mission dawned on them. Ankaa roused when she heard Caelum getting ready on the other side of the room – after her first day in their dorm, she’d had to switch to where Eris slept, since it was apparently a girl side, boy side kind of situation – and stood up not long after him. She made herself a simple breakfast, ate, and went to the courtyard for a short training session. After returning to her dorm, she saw that the other occupants had already left. She took some time to make a lunchbox for herself, then added it to the rest of the packed essentials – her journal, some money, a spare set of clothing, a packet of dried food, a matchbox – and after sheathing her sabre at her hip, left for the station.

She travelled at a light jog, marveling at the unknown land. When she finally arrived, a good number of students were already there – perhaps they’d come so early due to nerves or eagerness. Meanwhile, Ankaa could admit that crowds such as the one waiting for one train or another did not suit her. Still, she’d made it well in time, and approached her classmates. Liu simply nodded at some of them in greeting, then stood at one of the more secluded corners unobtrusively, and leaned against a wall. While waiting, she listened to the conversation of the other Class-C students, and watched the general goings-on through half-lidded eyes.
How do you envision the Arcane Paints event going?


<Snipped quote by ERode>
They should take a group photo painting at the end, that’s for sure. Maybe show off the hidden side of the club, see what eldritch horrors pop up when you combine magic paint with the avant-garde. Or the enterprising doujin artists trying to make their waifus real…


Sounds good. Ankaa would pester them with questions....she might have joined on a temporary basis, though I'm not sure she'd still be a part of it after two weeks a week.
If I manage to come up with something satisfactory...it's been a dearth of ideas so far for me though, so...Eh, we'll see.
Ankaa Liu
Interactions: @samakama



When the matches were all completed, Ankaa went to line up with the others, waiting orderly for the professor’s proclamations. She raised a brow when he quipped that he couldn’t expel them all. Does he expect us all to be at the Miracle Seven’s level? she wondered. On the one hand, it would be helpful if he pushed them to accomplish more, but on the other, high expectations like that led to exactly the radical decisions Class C witnessed next.

All but 13 of them were expelled. If all he wanted to see was mana control, why did he have us fight in the first place? she shook her head in disbelief. She’d enjoyed it, and found it to be as good a practice as ever, but if their instructor wasn’t even going to bother to give out commentary…

Well, she sighed. At least I know that expulsion results in a return of one’s tuition. That was a bit of an odd point, admittedly, since she’d thought this place was all about personal responsibility. Besides, if expelled students regained their tuitions, would the same be done for those not managing to graduate? Mm, doesn’t matter right now, she decided. She was in for now, so she didn’t need think of the ‘what ifs’. It was a shame for those dismissed students, but such was this institution.

Someone also raised an issue with Misaiya, and having observed their fight, Ankaa could understand those doubts. However, the professor was correct; strategy was essential in warfare. Admittedly, she’d not looked at the matches as a genuine battle, but it was a valid interpretation. One that professor Nyx seemed to favour, apparently.

She also contemplated the ‘sever the dead limb’ phrase. Certainly, if a person’s leg was gangrened, it was often best to simply cut it off. But could whole humans really be talked about this? How could one showing tell the professor that those students weren’t effective enough to be included? Or what if any of the Festival’s events were geared to including a larger number of students? Ultimately, it was irrelevant to speculate, however.

Ankaa blinked at Nyx’s parting inspirational sentence. Even flowers…But is the warren wasteland Class C or the academy as a whole? From what she gathered from their instructor, she wouldn't be surprised if it was the latter; her respected very few, and probably wasn't impressed by anyone below his ability or status.

Liu turned to go to the dorms, and was heading out of the courtyard when she was stopped by Misaiya. The agreement to go see the arcane painters’ club had honestly somewhat slipped her mind – or rather, Ankaa had assumed they would not be going after today’s exertions. As such, she nodded when Misaiya had approached her about the matter. “Agreed. Some other time, then,” she replied.

It took a few minutes longer than she’d thought to get to the right dorm, since the hallways and rooms were so very drably similar – the plaques with their names the only unique characteristic of this particular stretch of walls and doors. Ankaa smiled when she saw that she’d room with Misaiya, someone she was already familiar with. When she entered the room, she was bemused to find him asleep on the floor, while her other male roommate – Caelum – was napping on the couch.

He’s definitely going to get a crick in his neck, she thought as she gazed at the long-haired boy. She seemed so soundly asleep that she really didn’t want to wake him up, however. He won’t feel weird about it if I carry him, right? Since there was no one to answer her doubts, she simply approached Misaiya, crouched down next to him, scooped him up in a princess carry, and heaved him up with a huff. Ankaa walked the short way to the bedroom, and deposited him in one of the beds as gently as she could. His body still thumped a bit against the mattress, and Misaiya ended up sprawled on it a bit awkwardly, but at least he wasn’t on the floor anymore.

That done, Liu took a few minutes to stretch her own body, then went to fetch her own belongings. She had but a meagre bag of possessions; some spar clothing, a sewing kit, and a bunch of studying and writing materials. The martial artist missed the intended function of the wooden partitioning, however, as she simply settled herself on the same side as she’d put Misaiya, simply claiming the empty bed next to him. She set her bag against the bed’s frame, then settled in for a nap herself.
@samakama Mind if I have Ankaa carry Misaiya to his bed?
Jandar Varan and Priestess Olenna
Winton


Collab with @LadyRunic



“It’s just Jean,” he introduced himself when she called him by his title. At the old lady’s directives, Jandar nodded, though privately wondered whether there were some other reasons for her living so far away. It did not escape his notice that the townsfolk clearly knew the woman. They seemed both wary and respectful of her, but clearly mistrusted him, the stranger. The woman shrugged them all off with a smile, and the Warlord couldn’t help but wonder what her short inspection of him might have told her.

She was clearly intelligent, the old age not at all blunting her mind, it seemed. “It’s busy n’ rushed here, ain’t it?” he commented neutrally. When they were a bit of the ways out of Winton proper, making their way to the lady’s house, Jandar thought it was a good moment to ask another lightly prodding, though innocuous question that had been on his mind. “Are you an artisan, then? Couldn’t help but notice these,” he gestured to her various bagged materials.

“Most of the towns are like that. Not too many as wants to be out and about any more.” The old witch sighed, almost wistfully. “Those that do tend to keep in the company of the Queen, or wanting to catch her attention. Not always a wise thing.” She remarked with the immunity of the old who had live long enough lives they felt safe speaking freely. Giving him a slightly crooked smile, she guided him down a side road slightly overgrown along the sides and the stones were cracked and uneven. Signs of disrepair and no maintenance, tasks she could no longer preform or others no longer saw the value in.

“Those? An artisan? Hm, perhaps, but no. It passes the time and the shrines always need candles. The Dark Gates always need their candles.” Jandar would indeed know what the Dark Gates were though he had not heard mention of them yet in Terreille. They were the Gates between the Realms. From Terreille, to the Shadow Realm of Kaeleer, to Hell. To open the gate one only needed to put the candle in the proper place, recant the proper Craft and usually under the guidance of the Priestess who kept the Dark Gates under close watch.

“‘Tis a shame,” the Warlord remarked, though his tone was fairly neutral. He chuckled lightly at her next remark, agreeing, “Not all attention is good attention.” His steps briefly stuttered when she revealed the next tidbit of information however. “The Dark Gates?” he asked, tone low, reverential, and yearning. “You must be a Priestess then,” he concluded in a whisper.

“I had no idea there was such a thing nearby,” he muttered, his speech reverting to its usual fluid grace in his excitement. Jandar swept a hand through his hair, and frowned. What he was contemplating was risky, but he couldn’t ignore something like this. “Ma’am, say that someone wished to cross through the Gates…what would it take?” he questioned, still in a carefully quiet voice. He had stated the inquiry as a hypothetical, but he was certain the lady would know that he was the one who needed it – Hell, she may even guess that he wasn’t by his lonesome, and would bring others with him.

It was a good few minutes before the old crone answered with a good-natured chuckle. “My you are full of questions!” While for some this would be something to be wary of the old Summer-sky Witch seemed more amused than anything. “I am. Priestess Olenna. Though my younger assistant went to the Queen’s Circle. Lady Alice was certain she needed the wisdom of someone so clever.” There was a less than amused snort as the older woman gave a disapproving frown. “The chit was in her middling years, true. But it seems a bit odd to me that she’d want the assistant and not the teacher.”

Grumbling to herself, the woman hobbled along the worn road. Up ahead was a dignified building that held one wing which looked akin to a cottage. The rest of the back wall was solid stone, a sandy brown color that was mined from Pruul. The front was a row of columns and ancient-looking wooden doors interspaced and left open between them. “I like it to have a bit of air. Keeps things cleaner.” The witch declared as she crossed what now was an overgrown garden. Weed throttling the useful plants and the grass taking over where flowers were. Setting her bag on the worn step, she cast a speculative eye on Jean. “If someone were wanting to go through the gate, it’d take a black candle. One of the special ones.”

Jandar blinked, and smiled wryly at the Priestess, shrugging a shoulder at her observation. He was curious, that was true. “Perhaps she is fonder of youth rather than experience,” he commented mildly. “Though I do not know her Ladyship well enough to claim so,” he added. The Warlord wondered at her house’s design, and sniffed at the air. “It is fresh ‘round here, you can smell the sea,” he said appreciatively.

“Special?” he murmured. “A black candle per person?” he sought to clarify. “How special are they?” he asked, a glint in his eye. He didn’t know if Olenna intended to charge a fortune for one, or if there was some special and difficult to procure material he would need to get. Perhaps it was something else entirely.

Olenna sighed with a weary air. “You young people are always so impatient. Always wanting grand over the simplicity of life. The last candle burned out a time ago, I needed to get the materials to make more of them.” She gave a pointed look at the bags he carried. “It would be easier in my youth, but I can do it just as well now.” Chuckling she sat on the stone steps that led to a golden and worn looking candle holder inside. Prongs for other candles coming off of the center stem.

Jandar nodded. “Good to know. Unless you need help with anything else, I’ll be off. But I may pay you a visit at a later time,” he added with a wink. As the Priestess did not want anything, he departed, and headed back towards the inn.
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