The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    Versix squints at the displayed documents, taking Cecil's to look at it more closely and grumbling as he reads it and sees the visitor passes. "Fine, fine. Just don't interfere with Academae business, and go on with whatever you're here to do," he says, turning towards the now quickly dispersing group of students to give another glare that sends a few more scurrying off. He gives the group another look, then gives the other two tieflings a signal to follow him and leaves, heading in the same direction the other four had been going before. As they leave, the white-dressed woman gives her gaggle of followers a nod and they leave as well, staying in a group and heading off towards the buildings further away.

    "You're here looking for Jerrick, then?" She asks, turning away from watching the various leaving parties once none are left in earshot. "I'll admit, I'm surprised. He didn't seem that interesting until a few months ago. Certainly not enough to know all of you," she continues, giving a nod to Solys and Tsōlg.
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  2. - Top - End - #122
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    "Most people make room for me." Solys tells the white-clad woman. "Nice to meet you, but we, um, have to be elsewhere." It's true that they do, regardless of what Cecil thinks.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    Rakinen looked at the woman, speaking as slowly and calmly as he could but still clearly flustered. "He doesn't -- we don't. Know him, I mean. I don't, anyway. Some of them do.

    'Interesting?' "
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  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    Cecil gave Solys a sideways tut-tut hand gesture, his gaze fixed on the lady in white.

    "Let's not be hasty now," he said, his smile bright and dazzling, "Perhaps this is just where we need to be."

    He bowed to the lady. "Milady, I thank you for your efforts on our behalf. We are grateful for your offer of assistance. I am Cecil Sicilia, agent and designated operative of the Overni Family. Might we have the distinct pleasure of your name?"
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  5. - Top - End - #125
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    "I'm going to get a headstart on the...the thing we're doing." Solys says, as it becomes obvious that half the group wants to talk to the woman. "Bye." She then starts to walk off towards the conjuration hall and Jerrick's room.

  6. - Top - End - #126
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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    "Solys, dammit, WAIT!" Rakinen shouted after her, unleashing all his anger into that one word. Then he calmed a bit. "Please, wait. We really should do this together, as a team. If you go, we're still going to want to go later, so it's not like you're saving time."
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  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Solys turns around slowly, clenching her fist. "Sorry? What? Work as a team? What? To stand here doing nothing? What? While you all have a nice chat? What? Not actually going where we're meant to be? What?" She licks her lips. "I don't even want to be here. While I am, I want to do what we're here for. You're not letting me, and worse, you're making it harder by telling suspects all about it."

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Rakinen looked at Solys for a moment, then back at the rest of the group. "Um, give me a minute. Talk without me I guess."

    He walked slowly over to Solys. He tried to keep his voice down, but who knows how well he did it, as a torrent of words rushed out of his mouth at an unprecedented pace. "I totally understand. Really, I do. Like, four hours ago I was in the middle of an utterly miserable run, I've spent just about every last spare copper I had paying people off for their work at the carnival, I desperately want to be in Magnimar in five weeks for the autumn carnival there and I have no idea how I'm going to get there, I've haven't slept decently in three nights, and then all THIS happened and I'm totally lost and I'm screwing up everything. So I'm not having a great time here either.

    But listen, please, we're both here, we had our chance to say no and we didn't take it, right?, and now people are counting on you, on us. Lord Overni's counting on you, Caelia's counting on you, the kid is really counting on you, and I'm really counting on you, on all of you, because I have no idea what I'm doing and I need your help to get through this, because in the small time since then I've somehow managed to piss off every one of you, half the Academae thinks I'm either a cretin or a barbarian who enjoys watching people get beat up, as if that's what it's all about, I feel like I'm halfway holding the kid for ransom or stealing the dad's money or something, and if you must know, I'm. Utterly. Petrified. Because I'm trying as hard as I can but I have no idea what I'm doing and if I -- if we do screw this up I don't get to dust myself off and shake someones hand and learn from it and go again, it means a father maybe never sees his son again. And I don't know if that matters to you or if you're just in it for the money, but it matters to me, and all that other stuff kinda doesn't matter so much right now. So yes we're a team, whether you like me or not, whether you respect me or not, because we have the same goals even if we're doing it for different reasons and if we don't work together on this nobody gets what they want, so you need to trust me and I need to trust you. So I'm sorry if you don't like me, but I need your help, please. And the rest of the team needs your help too. And even if you don't realize it right now, you need theirs. And mine. We wouldn't be here if you didn't need our help. I'm doing the best I can here, and I think you are too. We all are, I assume. But if we all try to row the boat to a different shore, we're going to be out in the ocean for a long time.

    If you really think you can do this all by yourself, then I guess go ahead and go, I can't stop you, but I think if Lord Overni thought you could do it by yourself he wouldn't have brought anyone else on, right? Lot cheaper to just pay you and not us. He didn't want you. He wanted us, including you. We're all here for a reason, even if I don't know what that is right now. I have a good feeling about this woman, it sounds like she knows something, Cecil and Vesta do too I think, and by the way I don't know if you heard it but Vesta already announced to the world we're looking for Jerrick, so if that woman or anyone in that crowd is responsible for Jerrick going missing we're already in all the trouble we can be in.

    I know you think going to the room is best, and maybe you're right and of course we're going to do that real soon I promise, but Cecil has a way of getting people to do things for him it seems like, and it sounds like she has information that could be useful. You don't have to trust me, but please, you can at least trust your friend, right?
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  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    "I mean...none of that has anything to do with me going to the room now. You can catch up, or come with me. You only need one pair of ears to hear what that woman has to say, and each of us has a pair, and investigating the room will take longer than hearing whatever she tells us." Solys informs Rakinen. "And I do trust Cecil. When he's in a room with nothing that breathes."
    Last edited by Hazuki; 2017-09-06 at 11:50 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    Rakinen sighed. "Fine. If you're that sure you can find everything there is to find in that room with nobody's help, and that you'll be able to get in it with nobody's help without arousing any suspicion, and that you won't piss off the wrong wizard who will turn you into a newt if you look at him funny or open the wrong door, then go, good luck. If you tell me you can do all that, I guess I have to trust you. When Cecil and the rest are done here I'll let everyone know you've cracked the case and we'll have a nice picnic here on the lawn until you get back.
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  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    Solys looks over her shoulder, then back at Rakinen. "I...I literally said you can come with me and I expect you all to catch up before I'm done. Are you arguing with me or another Solys?"

  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    Rakinen shrugged. "I can't be in two places at once.

    I tried. Fine, go ahead, go if you want to go, we'll do this your way. We'll catch up, eventually. Could be a while. Unless we find something else we feel needs looked into. Then I guess we'll do that instead and leave you by yourself. That's what you'd do, right? Anyway, good luck, I'll let the others know where you're going; if we feel like joining you we will, I guess. Or not. Anyway, good luck, no hard feelings."


    And without listening to another word, Rakinen turned and walked back to the group, hoping to catch some of the conversation.
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  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    Solys shrugs and continues on to Jerrick's room. A few steps pass until she looks down at Hardcheese. "I know, right?"

  14. - Top - End - #134
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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    Spoiler: Crowd Around The Student
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    The woman raises an eyebrow at Cecil's introduction, then nods. "Erilia Avin," she says with a nod and slight smile. "Don't know him, agents of his family...I guess you're here to investigate his disappearance, then?" She asks, looking over you all. "If that's the case, we could be allies of convenience in the matter. I'm interested in finding him, or at least finding out more about his disappearance."


    Spoiler: Hall of Conjuration, Floor Three, Room 16
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    Solys enters the Hall of Conjuration without any further fuss, finding the inside dominated by wood that's unusually uniform in appearance. She flashes her visitor pass a total of three times and each time results in a quick resolution to questions about who she is, what she's doing there, and similar. The way she goes seems to avoid any class rooms, summoning rooms...generally, magical rooms, sticking to a staircase (albeit one lit by the glowing runes going along it, which Solys easily recognizes as being involved in conjuration magic, mostly related to summoning, though serving as little more than decoration here) and then a hallway of doors with numbers on them. All seem completely identical, the hall spotless, the air...a touch singed, actually.

    Approaching the door numbered 16, Solys spots two things that differentiate it from the others - first, a subtle glow around the doorframe. The second, and much more obvious, is a slip of paper that seems to drop down from above, then unfurl into a paper covered in text. It declares, in various languages:

    ROOM OFF-LIMITS TO STUDENTS AND STAFF WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION

    THIS ROOM, FORMERLY HOUSING JERRICK OVERNI, HAS BEEN PLACED OFF-LIMITS DURING INVESTIGATION.

    DO NOT ATTEMPT UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY.
    DO NOT ATTEMPT UNAUTHORIZED DIVINATION.
    DO NOT ATTEMPT ILLUSION OR DISPELLING TO REMOVE THIS NOTICE.

    NONCOMPLIANCE WILL BE PUNISHED SEVERELY.

    SURVIVORS WILL BE EXPELLED.

    WITH GREAT CARE,

    HEADMASTER TOFF ORNELOS
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  15. - Top - End - #135
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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    Solys frowns softly as she examines the door and the doorframe, failing to recall any useful knowledge about them. She glances down at Hardcheese, the similarly stumped hedgehog, and gets nothing. "Mellon." She says to the door, then blows air between her lips. She removes a long thin metal object from her robes, which she runs her hands over until it forms a very fine needle, which she stabs into the nearby wall as well as the floor. She tucks it back into her robes. She retrieves her passes for access to the acadamae and waves each of them in front of the door, then clucks her tongue as nothing happens and she puts them away. She looks around for any nooks or crannies that might secretly hide a key, then scratches her head.

    So, she tries the handle and walks in.

  16. - Top - End - #136
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    Spoiler: The Room
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    The door opens easily, revealing a room that's a stark contrast to the clean, orderly hall outside. To the right of the door, a medium-sized bed lies in disarray, mattress shifted slightly out of place, covered mostly by a twisted blanket with various crumpled-up papers strewn across it. That seems to be a constant - looking over the room, the floor, bookshelves and desk all seem to have their share of paper tossed over them, much of it torn or crumpled into balls, but often simply lying where it was left. The bookshelf, waist-height for Solys, seems to have been thoroughly ransacked, with only a handful of books left. It's a mix of topics, ranging from "An Introduction to Abjuring Theory" to "Advanced Minutiae of Conjuring Fiends", though all the books seem to be on magical theory. Several are also in very bad shape, with pages or entire chapters torn out.

    The center of the floor bears two scorched black circles, one inside the other. On the desk, a few charred remnants of paper lie to the left of a long-dried ink spill. A closed closet stands at the left wall, and the desk has several drawers that remain closed.
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  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Hardcheese scampers out of Solys' robes and hurries down them to get to the floor, where she proceeds to start running all over the room sticking her nose in everything. Solys, without an immediate and obvious course of action, starts to lift up various pieces of furniture in search of odds and ends.

  18. - Top - End - #138
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    "For the record, you're not the one who screwed up there. The one who wants to dally around with mysterious bints in white negligees is." a voice says from behind Solys. Tsōlg walks in behind her, casting his gaze around the room with tight lips and narrowed eyes. He moves over to the bookshelf, and selects the most damaged book to withdraw and leaf through, hoping to discover through context which pages have been torn out.

    "You are an Alchemist, if I recall? Do your arts afford you a method of magical detection?" he says, turning around as he says this and casting Detect Magic.

  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    Solys nods at Tsolg's comment, but doesn't reply to it. Something about the mercenary's approval doesn't feel entirely right, though she's not about to oppose it.

    "Um, I am, and, they do, but not the basic cantrip. I'd have to brew a particular formulae to do it and it wouldn't last for long." She explains.
    Last edited by Hazuki; 2017-09-06 at 04:29 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    Tsōlg nods, and turns back to the books, placing them in two piles - potentially useful and not useful in the slightest. "I suppose the summoning marks on the floor are to be expected, given Jerrick was in the Hall of Conjuration. Your senses are sharper than mine. Can you or the rodent smell anything unusual here, that might be a clue to what he was summoning."

  21. - Top - End - #141
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    "Oh. Um, not at the moment, but give me a few seconds..." Solys turns away from Tsolg and focuses inwardly. She's not a particularly big fan of changing from her regular form, but needs must... Her horns steadily shrink down until there's no hint that they were ever there at all, and she turns back without other significant changes. Well, not outwardly. Inwardly, she can smell just about everything there is in the room.

    Spoiler: Change Shape
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    To swap the Gore attack for the Scent ability. She's gonna Scent this room. That's what she's doing now.

  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Rakinen stared after Tsolg as he followed Solys away from the group. "Whatever" he muttered.

    "Yes, Erilia, that's right. Problem is, we, I don't know ... well, anything. I don't even know where to start -- this isn't exactly my specialty.

    "We don't know how long he's been gone, or what could have caused him to leave, or if he left on his own, or anything like that. We pretty much just know that his father just stopped hearing from him and he can't get any answers from anyone and he's not the sort of man who's willing to just let his son vanish. So anything you can tell us would be really helpful. To me anyway. Apparently they don't think so"
    as he nodded his head in the direction of Solys and Tsolg.

    "I'm really, really hoping you can prove them wrong."
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  23. - Top - End - #143
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    "And perhaps you could tell me... err us... over a drink? That I... errr... that we would be happy to provide?"

    Sometimes he wasn't as smooth as he pretended to be.
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  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Rakinen shot Cecil a quick death stare. "I don't see a tavern anywhere, Cecil. If the lady would like your, um, acquaintance later, that's her choice, but the proper time to have this discussion is here and now."
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  25. - Top - End - #145
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    Spoiler: The Room
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    As Solys shifts, the smell of paper, ink, and burnt forms of the former fill her nose. The room is clearly dominated by these three scents, but hints of others are also present. Most are mundane, though there's a curious, supernaturally clean smell in the wardrobe, likely from magically-cleaned clothes. Otherwise, nothing of note at first, until Solys catches an out of place odour. It smells faint, and seems to be coming from one of the desk drawers, but it's undeniably...perfume.

    Moving closer, Solys finds the source drawer and easily opens it, finding the scent to be coming from a single glove. It's well-made, and embroidered with what looks like a flower but subtly shifts as Solys looks at it, looking a bit like a shining sun before reverting to its former form.

    Everything but the glove seems to have been taken from the drawer, with an odd, rather small nick in the inside of it as if something had been pressed against the wood with significant force.

    There's another, very faint, odd smell in the room, but Solys can't pinpoint it, or determine just what it is, though there's an oddly...alchemical whiff to it. Like something she might smell in some alchemist's workshop full of foreign ingredients and unusual formulae.

    Tsōlg finds it a difficult task to determine which reasons there were for the tearing out of the pages, though he does come across a likely explanation. It seems that the practically focused sections of each book have been removed - the only ones of those remaining are covered in hastily-scrawled lines dividing them into seemingly arbitrary sections, which each have a large X marked over them. One book, "Fundamentals of Abjuration: Mage Armor", which seems to be a relatively short (only ~40 pages) tome going in depth into the magical theory and practical benefits one can glean from the titular spell, is notable in that it has no torn out pages, or ink marks aside from a few old notes in the margins. However, several parts of the pages are discolored, as if some small amount of liquid had been spilled on each page in an almost identical manner near the edges.

    It's only when he leaves the bookshelf that Tsōlg finds more of note. A sweep with his spell reveals a faint Abjuration aura at the door, and then a very faint one, almost too faint to be seen, somewhere inside what seems to be a bucket filled with thoroughly torn-up papers, broken quills and even a cracked inkwell. At the very bottom, wrapped in layers of crumpled, blank paper, is a finger-sized metal bottle. It's relatively unassuming, shaped similar to a test tube many alchemists use to store mixtures before adding them to other concoctions, or occasionally for potions. The inside is a touch odd, as the metal there has an almost...oily quality to it, shimmering ever so slightly in the light. The outside is unmarked except for a somewhat triangular symbol with a circle inside it, near another semi-triangular shape, under another circle.

    Tsōlg's spell detects the faintest of auras clinging tightly to the inside of the bottle, with an odd sheen to it. He can't identify the aura.

    Spoiler: Solys Knowledges
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    The glove's symbol is a relatively infrequently used symbol for "good from beauty", occasionally affiliated with some parts of the Dawnflower's church but more commonly seen as a semi-secular symbol meant to indicate a desire to do what good one can despite difficult circumstances. More recently it's been used by some tieflings, to represent a move from earthly attachments to more spiritually advanced behavior.

    The nicks on the wood are too light to have been caused by anything very heavy or metal - they're likely the result of something like a book being roughly removed from the drawer.


    Spoiler: Outside
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    Erilia nods at what Rakinen says, lips pressed against each other for a moment before she seems ready to speak, though Cecil begins before she does, causing her to chuckle briefly. "Your friend is right. Unless you intend to smuggle something in here, there's little chance of that being possible. And I would prefer to keep things a touch more...focused," she says, with a nod.

    "Regarding Jerrick - unfortunately, I don't have a great deal of information, either. I know that Jerrick a mediocre student, poor at Conjuration, which was a problem, as it was his specialty. He didn't seem to excel anywhere, actually...Until perhaps three months ago. It was rather sudden - he began to volunteer to cast in class, and completed three exams he had been delaying earlier. Then, after about two months, he vanished," Erilia says with a sigh. "Before I could get anything out of him."
    Last edited by PersonMan; 2017-09-07 at 12:48 PM.
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  26. - Top - End - #146
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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    Solys recounts to Tsolg what she's discovered, as well as what she knows from her personal knowledge. "Can you, um, study the glove?" She asks, pointing at it in the drawer without picking it up.

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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    "Erilia... you mean he's been gone a whole month now?" Rakinen said with an alarmed look at Cecil and Vesta.

    "You said he was a poor student -- how bad, like 'about to get kicked out of school' bad? Was he lazy, or was he trying hard and just not getting it, and then one day it all clicked -- or do you think something else happened? Some sort of magic to make himself smarter, maybe? Did he even want to be here, doing this, was he happy? Or was he being pushed into it?"

    "I don't know how well you knew him to answer any of that. Maybe if not you, you know someone who knew him better? Did he have any close friends here?"
    Last edited by Stelio Kontos; 2017-09-07 at 01:03 PM.
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  28. - Top - End - #148
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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    Tsōlg lets out a small chortle at Solys, pointing at his own discovery. "Likewise. Have a look at the edges of this book as well as the bottle there, see what you make of it. he says, moving over to the book draw and sweeping his magically enhanced gaze over it.

    Spoiler: Rolls
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    Spellcraft to identify the aura on the glove: (1d20+9)[22]

  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Cecil bowed his head at both Rakinen's remonstration and the lady's polite refusal. And they were right. Fun was later. Now was work.

    Cecil was good at working. He was just way better at not working.

    "In your professional magical opinion," he said, "What might have caused his sudden... uptick... in magical proficiency?"
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    Default Re: The Fire and The Black: Daemonfold [IC]

    Spoiler: The Room
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    Spoiler: Tsōlg
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    You don't find anything odd about the glove - the shifting symbol is obviously a minor magical effect, but you don't know of any specific meaning it may have with regards to the arcane. You can't identify the magic more closely.


    Spoiler: Solys
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    Examining the bottle, you find nothing of note at first. The symbol is oddly familiar, but unrecognizable, though...thinking about it, you realize that it's similar to some carvings you've seen that are meant to depict locations, using a few simple shapes. Based on that, you would think this is meant to be some mountain, perhaps with a cave in it, and the other circle being the sun? It's not clear, though, and it's vague enough to only be useful to one already knowing the location.

    Smelling the bottle, you detect a slightly unnatural scent. It's barely present, but you'd guess that it's the remnants of whatever liquid was inside the bottle. It smells somewhat similar to some potions you've encountered.

    The book's margin notes are mundane (or rather, mundane for notes written in a book about working magic, in a magical academy) and revolve around breaking down the concepts of nearby paragraphs into simpler terms. They're not very useful, as they have a clearly self-referential quality and repeat several non-words or abbreviations you've never heard of.


    Spoiler: Outside
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    Erilia nods. "Roughly a month, yes. Give or take perhaps one to three days - it's possible that he shut himself up in his room for a day or two and then disappeared, or similar. As I said, I didn't pay him attention before, and so far it's been difficult to get much information, so I can't say just how poor he was. But it was bad. I don't know if he wanted to be here, or if he was afraid his performance would catch up with him," Erilia says with a shrug. "I know he had a friend, another conjurer, who was similarly uninteresting. And - ah," she pauses and smiles. "There was a rumor, that he had a thing for a tiefling lady. An illusionist. Orange colored. Something Devold. Irena, I think."

    As she finishes, Erilia turns slightly, and Cecil has her full attention as he speaks. She shrugs. "I have a pet theory. But it's nothing more than that at this point, because it's all speculation. You see, the Academae is, obviously," Erilia nods towards the massive Hall of Conjuration, "dominated by specialists of a specific school of magic. But every now and then, an enchanter of exceptional power emerges from the student body. Based on records I've been able to gather and look through...well, either someone has done a great deal of very elegant revising of documents to construct a narrative, or every one of these people had roughly the same thing happen. They enrolled, were typical students for perhaps half their time here, then spontaneously surged to the top of their class, surpassing everyone within a single semester."

    Erilia pauses, looking over towards the Hall of Conjuration silently. "Is this related to what happened with Jerrick? It might be. But he got better at everything, all at once. Not enough to become a star student, but enough to go from a failure to someone slated to be a strong graduate. And then he disappeared," she says. "Now, of course, we can't reach a proper conclusion yet. But it does seem...connected, somehow. There's certainly no explanation I know of, unless he was actually an amazing conjurer the entire time, and had simply forgotten to read his books, or something similar."
    Not Person_Man, don't thank me for things he did.

    Old-to-New table converter. Also not made by me.

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