The Let's Play Archive


by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 15: Raising the Crops

Pramidi 22-28

You may notice something different about today’s update images. This is because the footage I took for this week and part of the next got corrupted. Fortunately, between the daily logs and the mod tools I can reconstruct most of what happened, but I will not be able to reproduce all the random events simply from their results. In addition, I will not be able to show what color the different choices were, though I should still know which ones were picked. At least there weren’t too many random events during this week.

Your patience will be appreciated during this outage.

At lunch between classes, you find yourself eating in the midst of a pack of Hedi students. You’ve had your eye on Tacito Viadana for some time now, although you’ve resolved to wait until after Emilia’s tasks are over to try and recruit him into the Five-Handed Tree.

Still, Tacito wasn’t the one who invited you today, although he was the reason you accepted. Instead, it was your good friend from rhetoric, Eduard Solov’ev. As such, you’ve been stuck on the wrong side of the table to get a good conversation going with Tacito.

Why would you want to spend time with that loser, anyhow? Just ask me; I already know everything about everyone.
Really? Then how about—
Nuh uh. Information like that doesn’t come for free. Now, if we were clique mates, on the other hand…
Shut up, Reitz. Nobody likes you; why would they tell you anything important?
I have my ways.
I’ll bet. You know, if you’ve got a reputation problem, you should hook up with Eduard here. He’s a pretty likeable guy.
O-oh, thanks…
As if I would. The only guys who like this idiot are other idiots like him.
Well, I like him too, and I’m no idiot. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get to rhetoric class.

Y’know, I’ve got rhetoric too if you wanted to, y’know, walk with me.
She’s already gone, you loser.

Although still searching through the manuals on infiltration techniques, you find yourself having a rather odd amount of trouble concentrating. Your thoughts keep slipping back to the Stone Bench yesterday, and you wind up wondering what Carmine is doing right now.

But wait, why should you care what Carmine is doing? He’s not even in your Clique; he hangs out with that stupid Montague kid. And he’s welcome to him, so far as you care.

This gets you a few pages farther into the manual. Then you start thinking about the Stone Bench again, and how things might have played out differently if you’d said different things…you wonder what Carmine is doing right now…

Returning to the Aranaz campus, you find to your surprise that Carmine himself has been waiting for you in the common room.

Hey, Iliana. Good to see you again. I was hoping we could hang out—
No. Stop right there. I’m sorry, I…I really am, but, I’ve got this big project I’m working on right now, and I—I can’t get distracted.
What, so I’m distracting you?

Blast it, why did he have to smile? Wait, why should that even matter?!

NO! …Sorry, I mean—I can’t spend time with you because I should be spending time on my project instead. I probably shouldn’t have even gone up to the Stone Bench with you yesterday.
…Well, I mean I’m glad I did, but I—and I’d probably do it again if you asked, but please don’t ask, because I have this thing I have to do first and I can’t concentrate on it when you’re around!
What is this big project, anyway?
I can’t tell you, although you’ll probably understand once it happens. So just—not right now, okay?
What about after it’s done?
After…I don’t know.
You don’t know?
I haven’t thought that far ahead! Sure. I mean, if you…maybe. We’ll see. But not right now!

As you hurry off, you hear Carmine wonder to himself:

The heck was that all about?

Figuring that part of your problem was focusing too much on your training and thus getting burned out, you decide to alternate your visits to Longshade with trips to the Venalicium, at least for the time being.

While you came to study Revision on your own, it’s not long before you wind up in an impromptu study group with Marc Sury and Raoul Leconte.

…And let me say, I’m really glad to see a friendly face in Aranaz these days. One of the older students caught me hanging out near Morvidus a couple times, and it’s like they can’t stop teasing me and pranking me about it.
Mm hmm.
Bedbugs in the sheets, dog droppings in the book bag, they’ve been really mean-spirited. I mean, I only didn’t join Morvidus so I could avoid that kind of thing!
Mm hmm.
I’m sorry, I suppose you’re having some troubles, too. I mean, I’m kind of an outcast right now, but even I heard that weird rumor about you breaking up with Carmine right in front of everybody. Were you two really dating before? Because—
Can we get back to the Revision project, please? I’d kind of like to get back to that instead of recite our life stories.
Yes, let’s do that. Right now.

Though it’s painful to admit, the Carmine debacle caught you completely off-guard. Although you have some skill with manipulating the emotions of others, you’ve never had your own betray you as thoroughly as they did on Monday. As such, you’ve resolved to never again let your feelings get away from you (although you fear your resolution may already be doomed).

And where better to learn about the issue than the Library of Longshade? In between your continuing hunt for stealth manuals, you find a few scrolls with advice on how to deal with the opposite gender. It’s not really enough for you to plan out a strategy, but at least it’s proof that you’re not alone. One of them even mentions a nice restaurant in town, named The Roses of Coventia.

Studying for rhetoric this time, you wind up paired with Sima Venesico. While she seems annoyed at having to study (something you can certainly relate to), the real surprise is that she’s here alone. Although you don’t know too much about her, every time you had seen her before she was surrounded by a crowd of admirers. It struck you as being a bit like Neta Xemutre, although the latter seems to prefer to only attract boys.

Then again, perhaps Sima dismissed her entourage on purpose. Every five minutes or so, she falls into ranting as loudly as she dares about how useless it is to study, and you frankly cannot tell what everyone sees in her. At least you have the sense not to say that to her face, and you part on good terms.

You’ve spent so much time reading manuals on stealth that they’re honestly becoming hard to find at this point. And with the weekend in sight, you know that the time to make your move is coming soon.

After spending a few extra hours practicing some stealthy techniques, you let Emilia Strolin and Rui de Casga know that the time has come to enter the next phase.

The three of you meet in one of the multi-house dining areas. When you come in, you see Rui de Casga and Emilia going over a jumble of notes. You sit down and commence to conspiring. You learn from Emilia that she’s used her time productively: not only has she spent the last few days scouting the Durand dorm, but she’s also been meeting with Rui de Casga to come up with the most diabolical prank you’ve ever seen.

We’ve got two main problems. One is that, even though I can get into the Durand dorms during the day with Sheary Warrington, I’m not allowed in past nine. So we’re going to have to find a way to get inside after hours without making a huge fuss. And then, of course, there’s the matter of getting all the things we need; we’re going to have to buy them or steal them from the school stores. Blindweed, Grecian Fire, about seventy feet of wire, Ichor of Primeval Jelly-Beast…among other things.
You just leave getting the ingredients to me.
Well, I can’t risk making Sheary suspicious, so I guess it’ll be up to you to find a way in.

This has really gone far enough.
Infiltration. OK. You can find a way in, no problem.
Materials Knowledge. Find a way in? Boring! You’ll MAKE a way in!

Betcha can’t guess which one I’ll pick.

What do you think I’ve been working on the past few days? I’ll find a way in, no problem.

You set out for the long haul, and spend the rest of the day and a good portion of the next one watching the various ways into the Durand common area. You’re pretty sure no one suspects anything since you’ve been disguising your snooping by sitting in various pieces of shade, pretending to read a book. At the end of the second day, you’ve only got one candidate. It’s a back entrance that one of the faculty members uses every night. It has the same locking enchantment as all the other doors, but from what you’ve seen, that particular door leads into a hallway that two or three people—at the most—use.

The simplest solutions are usually the sweetest. As an experiment, you leave a rock jamming the door open at around mid-day. Just as you expected, none of the three people leaving and entering through that door bother to remove the door prop. They probably just assumed that some poor janitor needed the door open for one reason or another. But locking spells don't do any good if a door stays open, now do they?

You spend the evening on your own in Sabinu’s Grotto, reflecting on the ancient witch’s story. She greatly expanded the field of Revision by practicing on human subjects, and since her victims were taken from the frequent raiders and pirates who plagued the region, she was hailed as a hero instead of a villain.

You resolve to take Sabinu’s lesson on spin control to heart: it’s not what you do but what others think about it that counts.

With all the preliminary steps complete, there’s nothing left to do aside from waiting on Rui de Casga’s contacts to deliver and practice, practice, practice. The three of you spend Sunday morning in the Library of Longshade, where you direct the other two through the maze of shelves from a convenient bookcase.

After lunch, you all spend the rest of the day in the Great Hall. You turn the practice into a sort of game where each of you runs a different course through the building, meeting at certain checkpoints and then again at the end. The goal is not to run the course as fast as possible, but to coordinate your movements so that each of you spends as little time as possible waiting at the checkpoints. By the end of the day, you’ve gotten the wait down to within seconds, but you still plan on spending the following holidays training as hard as possible.

Gains of the Week

Theory of Revision increased by 1.
--Modus Operandi pheme learned.
Confidence increased by 1.
--Relationship with Eduard Solov’ev increased to 6.
--Relationship with Reitz von Lutersee increased to 1.
The Calamities increased by 2 (?).
--Wind pheme learned.
The Early Empire increased by 1.
Studied at Longshade.
--Infiltration increased by 1 step.
--Concentration increased by 2 steps.
Aveline and Basia used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 111.
Carmine Sturzo used Hang Out Inside the College on you.
--Relationship with Carmine Sturzo increased to 4.

Glamour Phemes increased by 1.
--Analogue pheme learned.
Glamour Methods increased by 1.
--Elisias Bethea's Shop of Perceptions, Catalog available.
Practical Jokes increased by 1.
--Jovial pheme learned.
The Middle Empire increased by 1.
Studied at the Venalicium.
--Revision Study level at 2.
----Relationship with Marc Sury increased to 2.
--Filing increased by 1 step.
----Violin recipe learned.
Raoul Leconte used Hang Out Inside the College on you.
--Relationship with Raoul Leconte increased to 3.

Illustration increased by 1.
--Projection pheme learned.
The Middle Empire increased by 1.
--Learned about Godina Park: Marcus of the Helm’s Statue.
Studied at Longshade.
--Infiltration increased by 1.
--Dating increased by 1.
----Learned about The Roses of Coventia.
--Concentration increased by 1.

Revision Phemes increased by 1.
--Grow pheme learned.
--Give pheme learned.
--Revision increased by 1.
----Research Revision Spells action learned.
Studied at the Venalicium.
--Rhetoric Study level at 2.
----Relationship with Sima Venesico increased to 1.
--Filing increased by 1 step.
----Whole pheme learned.
Malacresta used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 114.

Wit increased by 1.
--Impress Listener spell learned.
The Early Empire increased by 1.
--Foundation pheme learned.
--History increased by 1.
----Focus on Language ability gained.
Studied at Longshade.
--Infiltration increased by 1 step.
----Compatible pheme learned.
--Sleuthing increased by 1 step.
--Concentration increased by 1 step.
Aveline used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 117.
Successful Event (?)
--Relationship with Philip Hauke increased to 1.
--Concentration increased by 1 step.

Used Efficient Research.
--Infiltration increased by 2 for 7 days.
Successful Adventure!
--Infiltration increased by 2 steps.
Visited Sabinu’s Grotto.
--Revision Methods increased by 1 step.
----Calafon’s Balancing of the Humors spell learned.
--Confidence increased by 1 step.
--Concentration increased by 1 step.
----Time pheme learned.
Tabin and Malacresta used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 123.

Studied at Longshade.
--Coordination increased by 1 step.
----Jitters pheme learned.
--Negation Methods increased by 1 step.
--Concentration increased by 1 step.
Flawless Timing increased by 1 step.
--Timing pheme learned.
--Plot increased by 1.
----Falsify pheme learned.
Flawless Timing increased by 1 step.
--Temporize pheme learned.
Aymeri used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 126.

New Abilities

The Roses of Coventia: -40 Pims; +2 Charm, +2 Vitality Max, and +1 Stress Max for 3 days.
Godina Park: Marcus of the Helm’s Statue: +1 step to Administration and Dedication.
Research Revision Spells: Intelligence/Library Knowledge v9; add random Revision spell, +1 step to Dedication regardless of success.
Impress Listener (Spell): Finesse/Glamour v7; +2 to Persuasion and Negotiate, +1 to Luck, Flirting, and Flattery for 2 days.
Focus on Language (Permanent): +1 to Language parent skill.
Calafon’s Balancing of the Humors (Spell): Insight/Revision Methods v7; -4 Stress, add Joy emotion (+1 Confidence, Temperance, and Flirting).