The Let's Play Archive


by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 18: Storing the Returns

Gelamenus 8-14

As the new school week begins, the rashes on the Durand students fade, and so does their anger. Not nearly to the same extent, of course, but the immediacy of it has fallen off noticeably. As such, while you’re still considered enemy #1 as far as Durand is concerned, the pressure on Aranaz has lessened and the other students are no longer preparing to throw you to the dogs.

Still, you’d like to think the situation was hurried along by your study of the social arts, and you see no reason to slack off on them now. You’re still learning a good bit you hadn’t known before.

Ah, the Hunt. While the more rural communities will actually go out and perform some fantastic hunts as an homage to the old Empire’s tradition, the larger cities (like the one you’re from) usually take the day as an excuse to host feasts and balls, each with a well roasted “fearsome beast” as the centerpiece. As you wake up this day, you wonder how the Academagia will celebrate the Hunt.

Your question is answered before you even reach the cafeteria. Dozens of posters have sprung up overnight, each proclaiming, “Find the bronze egg and win a prize!” You must admit, it’s a novel way of involving everyone in some manner of hunting.

Well, shall you join in the festivities? Or pass on this version?

Luckily Iliana’s been taking Dialectic, which gives her a decent Logic score. I feel I should note, however, that Planning leads to a Conceal option which involves making a fake egg and passing it along. Sadly, Iliana’s Planning score means it’s easier just to find the real thing.

Why not look for the egg? This could be fun!

You know it has to be in a place where everyone has access, so you rule out all the college common rooms and dorms. Next, you rule out all the classrooms. Professors would probably take issue with students bursting into their classrooms to look for an egg.

So where could it be?

The grounds, of course! That’s where hunting takes place, after all!

Forgetting all about breakfast, you comb over several acres of land. Just when you’re ready to give up, you trip over a hard object while walking along the lake beach. Aha! Poking out from the sands is the bronze egg. You take it and proudly present it to the hunt’s organizer.

Well, that was fast! Here’s your prize: fifty pims!

As the day winds on, you find that the rest of the Hunt’s tradition is observed as well, and several dances and feasts have been scheduled over the course of the day. You thoroughly enjoy yourself at several of these events, and you take the opportunity to practice your social skills as well.

You are attending the after dinner dance attended by most of the academy when the music picks up, and you begin to feel the urge to dance. It’s surprisingly catchy music, in fact, and you can even see the professors tapping their feet up on the head table dias.

Wait…it’s too catchy. There’s something in it of spring, and youth, and blooming flowers. You’ve heard about that sort of music.

As a murmur of surprise and bewilderment spreads over the crowd, the musicians seem to shimmer and then blur. Instead of four perfectly respectable human musicians, there are four satyrs up on the stage, beaming happily! They must have gotten in under a glamour spell!

Satyr magic is famously bewitching. Your legs are already beginning to twitch on their own. If you don’t stop these enchanting tunes soon, you’ll be doing nothing but dancing.

Looks like rhetoric to the rescue this time. Observation is blue, though; maybe it’ll have a better option?

You try to find anything, anything at all that might be of use, but nothing here fits the bill, and your mind is a blank.

All you can think about is the music, pounding on and on in your brain. Better hurry with a solution!

Drat. Good thing we still have a green fallback.

It’s pretty hard to make your feet move in any rhythm that isn’t a dance time, but you manage it somehow and approach the musicians’ dias.

In as diplomatic a voice as you can conjure, you put your case before them, quoting heavily from Emperor Heruscus’ famous speech about proper human-satyr relations. You remind them that not all creatures are as comfortable with irresistible music as they are.

Apparently impressed by your knowledge of satyr history, the leader looks at you for a long time and then smiles.

You speak the truth, little one. We will stay, but our music will be as the humans play, and will not call up the wild spirits of the dance.

You send a cautious glance to the professors and see Rieulle Chastellian, the music professor, nod his head gently.

As your legs settle down, you thank the satyrs politely. It is, perhaps, not surprising that you find yourself the proud possessor of two merit points at the end of the evening.

Best of all, you get the chance to leave the dance early (what with not being enchanted to join it) and return to Longshade to study further. Though still on the lookout for books on interpersonal communication, you wind up looking up how such satyrical incidents are handled on normal occasions.

You’re starting to have to hunt farther for useful material today. However, while the reading material is much the same, you notice that Captain Northbridge, your cat, seems to be going crazy today, forcing you to chase him across the length of the library more than once. Perhaps the rats are getting back in?

Today, Professor Aventyrare has decided to take the Revision class on a field trip into the Imperial Reserve. She has brought you to the remains of an old settlement, and is encouraging everyone to use Revision spells to try and repair the old artifacts so they can be studied.

This being the first class of the morning, you aren’t exactly at your best, and you wind up wandering away from the rest of the students. Several minutes later, when it finally occurs to you to turn back, you end up bumping your head into something very hard. Rubbing the pain from your head, you soon discover that you have crashed into a stone shrine; you could have sworn it wasn’t there a minute ago, but then you weren’t quite paying attention.

On this shrine are some inscriptions written in an unfamiliar language, although there are some writings on the bottom of the shrine that look legible. There’s a large hole chiseled into the front of the shrine where a small candle sits.

On a whim, you light the candle. After a few moments of watching the candle’s flame flicker, and believing this shrine to be nothing out of the ordinary, you try to step around it. Magically the shrine moves and blocks your path. You try to go left, you try to go right, but the shrine blocks your path. You move fast, you move slow, but the shrine blocks your path.

You arrive at the brilliant conclusion that the shrine will not let you pass.

So Theology is black? Interesting.

You draw a circle around the shrine in the dirt. You spin around twelve times, recite the words of the Emperor: “Nay, we shall not” three times, genuflect four times and finish the counter-curse with a real-time pantomime of Lereptor’s stunning defeat at the hands of Etium. Surprisingly, the shrine moves to one side and lets you pass.

Even better, the professor hadn’t even noticed you disappearing.

Just as you’re finishing up a book on how to host a successful party, you hear a voice call from the library’s entrance.

Hello? I know there’s someone in here! Come on out before I have to come get you.

Your heart gives a lurching thump, and a heavy weight presses into your stomach. You knew you weren’t allowed to be in the Library of Longshade, obviously, but why would anyone even come to this abandoned wing of the building?

Your mind races through dozens of scenarios as you unwillingly make your way to the front of the library. What business would the Glamour professor have in the Library of Longshade? How did she know right away that someone else was here? Why only now?

Passing the last line of bookshelves, you spot Professor Ringraeyer waiting for you with an annoyed expression on her face. Your stomach plummets even further, and you find you’re having trouble making eye contact with her.

Ms. Ot’Matar. So this is where you’ve been disappearing evenings? You realize you aren’t supposed to be here, yes? This building is dangerous! The bookshelves are collapsing, there are rats everywhere—
I got rid of the rats.
What was that?

You’re not entirely sure what possessed you to speak; it’s not like it would get you in any less trouble. Still, you’ve already gone and said something, so you may as well be honest about what you’ve done.

I got rid of the rats, ma’am. I scared them off and plugged up the holes. I’ve also used Revision to shore up the shelves.
Hmph. I suppose it does look to be in the best shape I’ve seen. Not that I ever come here normally. How do you even find anything useful in here?
I figured out how they filed things. I…I like to study here sometimes. It’s quiet.

The professor gives a sigh and her expression softens.

I can certainly understand a desire to study in silence, but this is not the right place for it. Even if the shelves are alright, there are several forbidden and dangerous books hidden amongst the normal ones, and it would not be wise for you to continue to come here. I’m afraid you’ve earned yourself a reprimand, young lady.
Professor Ringraeyer, please—you said that you don’t usually come here, and you knew I was here as soon as you came in. Who told you I was here?

The teacher pauses for a moment, considering. Perhaps deciding that you’d find out eventually on your own, she explains:

Cosetta Re told me there was a student in the Library of Longshade. Now come along.

Professor Ringraeyer explains the details of your detention as you walk back to the common area, but you are hardly paying attention. As soon as you heard the name, the pit in your stomach caught fire, and you can only barely keep yourself from displaying your anger.

Of course. It had to be Cosetta. Although you haven’t met her personally, you are well aware of her reputation. Cosetta is known for watching the rest of the student body like a falcon, and for sending professors to swoop in on any rule-breakage she perceives. As such, she is not well liked, even by her fellows in Avila, whom she does not spare from her watchful eye.

She will pay for crossing you. Oh yes. She will pay.

As you might imagine, I’ve been boosting Social Skills to succeed at the last check in Emilia’s quest line. As it’s now maxed, I turned to boosting Charm for the rest of the week.

Unfortunately, it got me nowhere, and by the time I finally went and checked the mod tools to see what attribute it wanted (Insight), I had already saved on Saturday, rendering Thursday and Friday here entirely useless.

Well, aside from the random events.

You find yourself inside an old, rundown shop in town. You only came in because you were bored, and you can’t imagine any other reason for a person to enter this place. The only things for sale are jars filled with various disgusting-looking objects immersed in a thick, green fluid, and they’re all stacked on a couple of tall wooden shelves that could collapse at any moment. You peer into one of the jars and see what you think is a monkey spleen.

Ah…one of our specialty items.

You’re pretty sure nobody was there before, but when you turn to look you see an old woman wrapped in thick, ratty cloth leaning over the counter. The rags cover everything except her eyes and hands, but her gaze has an indescribable power.

Perhaps you’re looking for something very special.

Bending down behind the counter, she pulls out another jar and sets it on the table. As she does, her sleeve falls backwards momentarily and you see something glimmer on her wrist. It is a stunning gold bracelet, enchanted to constantly, subtly change its shape. This isn’t an old woman! As you were walking through town earlier, you had heard guards announcing a reward for a young thief named Esmeralda who had recently escaped from prison. They had given only one distinguishing feature: a certain bracelet that used to belong to the warden’s wife.

She doesn’t seem to have noticed your surprise, and is talking about the jar she pulled out. You don’t know where the real shopkeeper is, but this could get dangerous in a hurry.

Fortunately, Iliana is a pretty cool customer. Who happens to know a lot about historical trivia. So how does that work, exactly?

Pretending to browse the items, you start chatting to Esmeralda about historical events that would have happened in the real storekeeper’s lifetime. Esmeralda is obviously a little flustered and narrows her eyes suspiciously at you. You manage to come off as a real history buff, though, so she hesitantly continues the conversation with you.

Meanwhile, with your back to the window, you signal frantically with your hands behind your back. Eventually it gets the attention of a guard, who comes in the door. You point to Esmeralda and reveal her disguise; though she tries to run, it’s too late.

She glares at you murderously as she’s being taken away, but you’re too busy counting out your reward money to care.

You were just minding your own business, going from class to class, when you were stopped by Zorzi Galea. The really strange thing is that he’s carrying a script.

Hello, fellow student! My name is Zorzi, and I want to know! Do you want to be part of the winningest legacy in our school’s history? I re…um…refer to our glorious Pan-Collegiate Rimbal Team, which has just won its twenty-second straight game against all those other bird poop teams in Mineta! Wow! I know! That’s something!
I didn’t say anything.
But it’s hard to be the winningest team in the city on the cheap! The Academy’s Pan-Collegiate Rimbal Team needs our support! A donation of just fifty pims will—

For a second, Zorzi breaks from the script and sounds like himself.

I gave two hundred. I cleaned the outhouse at the Mouse and Hornet every day after school for two weeks for that money, and I’d do it again! Octavius, have you seen those guys play?
I’m not really a fan of sports. Besides, I’ve heard that every member of the team already sleeps in a bed made entirely out of money.
But it’s old money! It’s bad for morale!

He shakes his head.

Look, even the guys on the team say it’s a rip-off. But this is the only way for First Years like us to be involved. This is what we can do to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, you know?

I’ll admit, the Lie option sounds tempting, but it’s only a 50/50 chance, plus fifty pims happens to be just what Iliana got the day before in reward money…

You’ve never been too athletic, and to be honest, you don’t even know that much about rimbal in spite of it being the biggest sport in the academy. Still, you wound up with fifty more pims than you expected just yesterday, and you’d never consider a boost to your reputation to be a waste of money.

You know what? You’re right. The team increases the school’s standing around the city—it deserves our support. Fifty pims it is!

Zorzi is totally silent as you hand him the coins. He looks down at the script, but can’t seem to read it through the tears in his eyes.

I’ll tell the professor about this, I promise. You just…you…

He lunges forward and hugs you. You respond by awkwardly patting him on the back.

You don’t want to think about the rumors that are going to come from this. You just don’t.

Now that’s more like it. Adanella’s Wardrobe is almost useless on its own, but it’s got a low check against Glamour (and anyone who has the spell will have plenty of that already), which makes it an excellent platform for pheme buffing.

Even better, Iliana already knows Epiphany, which is the pheme that improves Insight and nothing else, and that lets me stack two Epiphanies onto each Wardrobe and keep the odds on this side of probable. She will be getting one heck of a boost out of this, assuming all the spells go off.

On Saturday, you’ve decided to take some time to rest and think up some horrible fates for Cosetta Re, but your plans are changed when Emilia comes rushing over to you in the common room, a note of panic in her voice.

Professor von Rupprecht is on the warpath, and he’s looking for us! I think he finally heard the rumor that we set the itching bomb in the Durand dorms, and he looks really mad!
Does he have any proof?
I don’t think so.
Then he can’t punish us. Nothing to worry about.
I don’t think I could take it even if he just lectured me! I mean, when someone gets mad at me like that, I can’t—I just—it’s so—
Take a breath, Em.
Yes. Okay. Sorry. I just—fall to pieces when someone shouts at me, and when they aren’t wrong…it’s worse. You’re the people person, can’t you deal with this?
I can try. Heading off an angry professor won’t be easy, though. I may need some preparation. Think you can keep him at bay until tomorrow?
Yeah, okay. I can just go shopping in town for the rest of the day.
And don’t forget, Em: they deserved it.
Durand deserved it. Thanks a lot for this, Ana.

Most of the remaining day is spent scribing as many Epiphany phemes as you possibly can, emerging only for lunch and dinner.

It is during one of these trips that you hear someone start to yell. It’s high-pitched, and shrill, almost inaudible. You ignore it. Students at Academagia are always yelling at one another. You don’t bother going to see what the matter is.

After a few moments’ pause, the yelling resumes. This time you’re actually able to make out words. You gather something about homework, cheating, and stuff like that, but you keep on your way. You’re sure it’s nothing to do with you.

A few steps later, a couple of people run into you and knock you to the ground. Now they’ve got your attention, as well as your ire. Philippe Marchant and Malthezar Mhadi are fighting, and their clash now involves you.

“Take control and stop the conflict.” Sounds like the right choice to me.

You step in front of Philippe and Malthezar and push them apart. You demand they stop fighting. After a few moments of quiet contemplation, Philippe shoves you to the ground and headbutts Malthezar.

A flurry of fists, elbows, and knees swarm over you and, much to your chagrin, you get beat up worse than they do. Battered and bruised, you crawl out of the melee and limp back to your dorm room. Meanwhile, Philippe and Malthezar keep brawling.

You hope the event won’t end up a preview of tomorrow’s confrontation.

So how did yesterday’s preparations go?
I can see the future.
Nah, but wouldn’t it be cool if I could?

You decide that you should stick by Emilia throughout the day, and it’s a good thing you did. It’s not long before Professor von Rupprecht spots you, and you feel a strong need to panic as the teacher approaches with a stern look on his face.

Ten points in the skill and eleven in Insight are just enough to get me a black option. That Passion option is even harder, too.

You need to get to von Rupprecht first and calm the volcano before it erupts. You have Emilia dart away and abscond into the freehand drawing room. Hopefully she won’t need to pose as a model to fit in. Fortunately, the professor didn’t see which way she ran, and he instead approaches you.

Where did that girl go?! I’ve been hearing some disturbing rumors about her involvement in a certain recent incident. Worse, that she’s been involving other students as well and passing the risk on to them! Bad behavior is one thing, but she could at least not drag others down with her!
Professor, I would be happy to discuss the matter with you, but do you think we could move somewhere more private?

Professor von Rupprecht gives you a wary look, but leads you to his office nonetheless. The conversation you have with him takes some time, as you trying both to explain everything and to avoid admitting any actual guilt.

Professor, could I ask first what incident you believe Emilia caused?
You know very well what I’m talking about; from all I’ve heard, you’re in it as deep as she is. Now I don’t object to making Durand suffer, at least in principle, but when a girl like Emilia makes this much trouble for herself, and worse, for others, it is simply unacceptable.
If you’re talking about the itching bomb that hit Durand last week, I recall hearing that one of their own students was punished for it. How would that make trouble for Emilia?
Because the Durand students don’t believe that for an instant, and neither do I. You and Emilia were involved, and that means trouble for all of Aranaz.
Unjust trouble! They have no proof, after all. I’m sure they’ll stop once they realize they can’t get us back for something we didn’t do. And if they did catch us and try and make us talk, why, we’re just little girls, after all. We might tell them everything we know, like how you set us on the path to revenge in the first place.
You remember that time I asked you for help, don’t you? When I wanted to coordinate a group for a potential project?
You mean to tell me you and Emilia were planning this prank since mid-Pramidi?
Of course not, sir. But then we might say anything for them to let us go, and your name might just slip out.
I see. And so you’re sticking to that story?
If I say this is how it happened and no one can contradict me, it is not a story, it is the truth.

Seeing that you refuse to budge on the matter, the hint of a smile spreads across von Rupprecht’s face.

I believe I may have underestimated you, Iliana. To be honest, I thought you were spreading those rumors yourself, in order to both claim the credit and keep out of trouble. However, you would inevitably have told someone trustworthy enough to turn you in, which would have meant trouble for you, for Emilia, and for all of Aranaz. But if you continue to deny it, you may just get away with it.
I have done nothing I need to deny.
Good girl. Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe I shall have to speak with Emilia.

Later that day, Emilia comes to you with a great big grin on her face.

I don’t know what you told him, but Professor von Rupprecht came to talk to me, and it was like he had changed his mind completely! He told me he was impressed with my aggression, and said this was the last time he ever doubted where I belong!

Emilia is so pleased she gives you a quick hug.

I’ll never forget this. Thank you so much for everything!

You smile yourself as Emilia practically floats out of the room. All’s well that ends well, it seems.

Feeling that the matter of Emilia’s revenge has finally been settled, you decide to move on to other projects.

Projects named Cosetta Re.

After spending some time consulting with Rui de Casga, you decide to go with the tried and true method of placing a bucket of water on a partially open door. Even better, you can arrange to have a professor pass by at just the right moment to reprimand Cosetta for dirtying her robes! Rui de Casga doesn’t seem to think this will be particularly effective, but you overrule him—this is your revenge, after all! Instead, he shrugs and goes to string along a professor while you lie in wait, getting the door and bucket prepared for when Cosetta will be the next to use it.

Unfortunately, it all goes awry when you fail to realize that the bucket would be obvious when Cosetta comes in from the side the bucket is propped on. With a wave of her wand, she freezes the bucket in place, allowing her to open the door without any trouble. However, just before passing through the door, Cosetta turns to where you are hiding and gives you a superior look.

You make sure to get away as fast as possible so the teacher Rui de Casga is bringing can’t place you at the scene. You may have failed today, but this isn’t over.

Not by a long shot.

Tick tock, tick tock. It’s almost that time.

Vettor Conta comes up behind you, a twisted grin spread across his face. You fight fairly hard to keep from rolling your eyes when he practically slithers out in front of you.

It’s obvious he’s not going to leave until he says his peace, so you may as well give him his crumb of attention and get back to your work. You raise your eyebrow and he continues, satisfied that you’re going to listen to his rambling.

You don’t even know what I’m talking about, do you?

Vettor laughs, a cracked, disturbing sound.

The exams are coming up. Starting, what, second week in Cheimare? How do you think you’ll do? What out of fifty? I’m pretty sure if the look on your face is any hint, you’ll do awful. Me, too, but…man, it’s not like anybody expects anything better from me. I pull in a fifteen in all my classes, I figure it’s a win. Right?

You don’t bother telling him that the reason your expression is so displeased is because he’s standing too close and his breath is a bit foul. You shrug and watch him walk away. Maybe you really should get studying—you’ve got to get at least halfway through all your texts if you’re going to excel at the tests.

Still, you decide not to let Vettor worry you. You’ll study when you can. A whole slew of perfect fifties are in your future! In fact, you’ve heard that you can do better than fifty if you’re a real prodigy in a subject! Extra testing! Scores of points of extra credit! You could get one hundreds and leave everyone else in the dust!

Though, obviously, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t.

Just…not flunking out would be good.

Still, no time like the present. Checking your syllabi, you note that Calligraphy is the first exam to come (on Monday the first of Cheimare!), so you head to the Venalicium and get to studying.

Today you find a study partner in Marc Sury, which you find somewhat peculiar.

I didn’t know you were taking Calligraphy, Marc.
Oh, I’m not. I just wanted to read up on Orthography. I’m gonna be a jeweler just like my dad, except I’ll be making magic rings and amulets instead of the normal stuff he makes. I figure I oughta know a few things about magic inscriptions since that’s a pretty good way to enchant jewelry.
Really? Then I hope you make something nice for me one day. A nice necklace, maybe…
Well…we’ll see.

Gains of the Week

Revision Phemes increased by 1.
--Zenith pheme learned.
--Discover pheme learned.
--Revision increased by 1.
----Reviving Wellness spell learned.
Character increased by 1.
--Nourish pheme learned.
Studied at Longshade.
--Social Skills increased by 1 step.
--Conversation increased by 1 step.
----Sloppy Speech pheme learned.
--Concentration increased by 1 step.
Aveline used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 156.

Social Skills increased by 1 step.
Social Skills increased by 1 step.
Studied at Longshade.
--Social Skills increased by 1 step.
----Curry Favor action learned.
--Bureaucracy increased by 1 step.
----Argue pheme learned.
--Concentration increased by 1 step.
----Selective Focus ability learned.
Successful holiday!
--Money increased by 50.
Successful event!
--Aranaz merit increased by 2.
--Diplomacy increased by 1 step.
Aveline used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 161.
Vernin college wins again.

Ink Compounds increased by 1.
--Hydration pheme learned.
Flowers increased by 1.
--Aromatic pheme learned.
Glamour Phemes increased by 1.
--Corollary pheme learned.
--Discover pheme learned.
First Principles increased by 1.
--Balance pheme learned.
Studied at Longshade.
--Social Skills increased by 1 step.
--Familiar Kinship increased by 1 step.
--Concentration increased by 1 step.

Revision Spells increased by 1.
Revision Methods increased by 1.
--Intangible pheme learned.
Famous Speeches increased by 1.
--Analogue pheme learned.
--Rhetoric increased by 1.
Studied at Longshade.
--Social Skills increased by 1 step.
----Social Skills maxed!
----Party action learned.
--Concentration increased by 2 steps.
Cosetta Re used Squealer! Iliana has been reprimanded by Contzel Ringraeyer.
--Relationship with Cosetta Re decreased to -1.
Successful event!
--Theology increased by 1 step.
----Learned about the Temple of Iudocia.

Theory of Glamour increased by 1.
--Health pheme learned.
Glamour Spells increased by 1.
--Glamour increased by 1.
----Adanella’s Wardrobe spell learned.
Forms increased by 1.
--Calligraphy increased by 1.
----Scrivening action learned.
Cast Glow of Victory.
--Plus 1 to Beguile, Charm, and Glory for 5 days.
Aveline used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 164.
Successful event!
--Money increased by 50.
--Manipulation increased by 1 step.
----Amicita pheme learned.
----Compete increased by 1.
------Learned about Dispassion (Malice).

Theory of Revision increased.
--Positive Alteration of Organic Matter spell learned.
Cast Glow of Victory.
--Plus 1 to Beguile, Charm, and Glory for 5 days.
Successful event!
--Money decreased by 50.
--Relationship with Zorzi Galea increased to 3.
--Relationship with Leo Massioti increased to 3.

Cast Adenella’s Wardrobe.
--Plus 1 to Courtly Fashion, Confidence, and Aesthetics.
--Plus 2 to Insight.
Cast Adenella’s Wardrobe.
--Plus 1 to Courtly Fashion, Confidence, and Aesthetics.
--Plus 2 to Insight.
Cast Adenella’s Wardrobe.
--Plus 1 to Courtly Fashion, Confidence, and Aesthetics.
--Plus 2 to Insight.
Unsuccessful event.
--Vitality decreased by 2.
Basia, Vrenelle, and Aymeri used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 173.

Successful Adventure!
--First Principles increased by 1 step.
----Rational pheme learned.
----Dialectics increased by 1.
--Wit increased by 1 step.
----Acuity pheme learned.
--Charm increased by 1!
Prank Enemy failed.
--Relationship with Cosetta Re decreased to -2.
Studied at the Venalicium.
--Calligraphy Study level at 3.
----Relationship with Marc Sury increased to 4.
--Cryptology increased by 1 step.
----Learned about Professor Storey’s Office: Professor’s Desk.
----Research increased by 1.

New Abilities

Reviving Wellness (Spell): Intelligence/Natural Philosophy v11; +3 Vitality, -1 Stress to target.
Curry Favor: Charm/Study Habits v4; +1 Relationship with target professor, +1 Merit regardless.
Selective Focus: -1 Train Modifier for 5 days.
Party: -20 pims, +2 Relationship with target Clique member, +1 to 2 random students.
Work the Looms (Iudocia): +10 pims, +1 Stress, +1 step to Artisan, Concentration, and Sewing.
Temple of Iudocia: -5 pims, +1 step to Piety, Prayer, Oratory, and Theology.
Adanella’s Wardrobe (Spell): Insight/Glamour v3; +1 Aesthetics, Confidence, and Courtly Fashion for 4 days.
Scrivening: Finesse/Calligraphy v8 and 11; +1 Stress and 50 pims, -1 Stress on higher success (for net 0).
Positive Alteration of Organic Matter (Spell): Intelligence/Theory of Revision v13; -5 Vitality to target, +5 to choice of subskill to self for 4 days. Useful in and outside duels.
Professor Storey’s Office: Professor’s Desk: Finesse/Lockpick v12; +1 step to Cryptology, Puzzles, and Patience.

Thank you, Library of Longshade, you have served your purpose well. Selective Focus is gained at Concentration 9, and while that -1 doesn’t sound like a lot, hoo baby can it make a difference. The Train Modifier is a hidden stat that basically determines whether a skill can grow quickly, like Social Skills, or very slowly, like Concentration itself. So, digging into the mod tools, what have we got for their respective modifiers?

Well, the former is a 1, and the latter is a 2.

Selective Focus has about the same effect as 3-4 points in the relevant attribute. Nothing to sneeze at.

Having now completed the three tasks set for me, I would normally open up a new round of voting, but unfortunately Vettor is right and Iliana will need to spend the next couple weeks studying for midterms, so I’m preemptively overruling the vote. On the plus side, all the studying Iliana did to get access to the Library of Longshade means that all her Study levels are at least 2, so getting them up to 5 for the midterms should be no problem so long as I keep the exam order in mind.

Finally, back during the friends vote, I noticed that Tacito and Rikildis tied for second behind Rui de Casga. Rikildis has since joined a Clique, but Tacito is still a free agent, so I figure I’ll snap him up and spare us all the effort of voting for him again.

The next vote will occur once exams are finished.