The Let's Play Archive


by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 32: The Week of Cheating

Hionosi 15-21

This week, you’ve decided to finish studying, one way or another. Preferably the easy way. As such, you find yourself once again sneaking into the professors’ lounge, hunting around for study notes, test answers, or anything else that may prove useful.

This time you’ve found a second pair of phemes for Professor Aventyrare’s Revision class. You make a quick pair of sketches and resolve to look them up in the library later.

On your way to the professors’ lounge again, you stop in your tracks when you hear the distinct sound of voices coming from inside the room. Feeling less curious about the conversation than worried about getting caught outside the lounge, you hurry off.

Instead, you spend the evening on plan B, researching all the phemes you’ve picked up in Revision class in order to be ready for the final. You consider writing to your parents again, but then you think better of it; one letter at the end of the week should do just fine.

On Wednesday, you come across some fairly extensive dialectic notes. Rather than being about teaching subjects, they’re actually about the subject of teaching. Even just from flipping through Professor Sido’s papers, you learn quite a bit on the art of teaching others.

On Thursday, you discover a set of equations left by Professor Viada that seem to be what you can only term “situational algebra.” Under conditions Y, actions X will produce result Z. There is way too much here to read it all or copy it by hand, so you risk a spell and replicate the notes onto your own paper.

It’ll be too risky to quote these back to the professor, but you figure if you can use them to show some insight into the future, you can score some major points with Professor Viada. After all, there’s nothing he loves better than using history to inform current events.

It would appear Professor Viada has been particularly sloppy lately. Today he left not one but two spells lying around, and even better, the papers also describe in detail how to draw the phemes needed for both spells. History might not have a practical exam, but you have no doubt that the two will need to be described or explained at some point in the test.

Once again, you and your friends have spent a long evening out on the town well past curfew. Getting past the Great Gate of the Academagia wasn’t much trouble, but when you come to the Aranaz campus, you discover that even this gate has been shut and the light is out in the guardhouse.

You could always pull the emergency lever to get someone else to come let you in, but if you do that, then it’ll be obvious you were out late.

Only one reasonable option here, and it looks to be an investigation. Let’s find out.

You pace the front of the guardhouse and finally decide it’s possible to get into one of the windows if you get a boost.

That’s unlocked the black Move Silently option. It’s still a better bet than the other non-give-up options, so why not?

You and your friends draw straps to see who will be pushed through the guardhouse window. As luck would have it, it looks like it’ll be you.

Trying your best to look unfazed, you plant your foot firmly into the palms of Vrenelle and allow her to boost you up and through the window.

Once inside, you spot a sleeping guard, and you decide it best not to wake him. It doesn’t take you long to find and steal the keys, and the gate is open shortly thereafter.

You know, it’s a bit scary how good you’re getting at this.

Being particularly careful given that you shouldn’t be anywhere near here on a weekend, you sneak into the professors’ lounge and find a few items left by Professor von Rupprecht. The first item reveals a particular sweet he seems to like; you’ll have to make sure to get him some the next time you meet. The second explains a few techniques for copying a text precisely; while you imagine this will be helpful for something like calligraphy, you can imagine a few…less legal uses for copying someone’s handwriting.

You spend the evening skimming through the books for history and calligraphy, using your greater knowledge of the professors to gauge whether a given section is more or less likely to come up on the exams. By the end of the day, you feel satisfied that you’ve covered all the bases you possibly can for both classes.

Ah, at last! You’ve managed to find more of Professor Sido’s lecture notes hidden away in a corner of the professors’ lounge. Not only does it contain a pheme you’ve never seen before, but it also covers a deceptively simple way of checking one’s surroundings for new insights.

…Aaaaannnddd you’re done! You close the last book on debate techniques as a slowly spreading grin conquers your face. You’d laugh, but you know the librarians would come down on you hard if you dared. You’ll just have to wait for later.

Thanks for throwing this, Iliana. It’s been pretty rough for me with all the detention and that Eduard kid messing around in my room. Feels good to celebrate it all being over. I mean, the detention isn’t, but at least I got Eduard to keep me company now.
No problem. You know, this is sort of a celebration for me, too. I just finished studying for all my classes this week.
No kidding? Man, that was fast.
Thank you. Now if you’ll excuse me?

Hi, Silke. Thanks for making some arrangements for the party.
Oh, I’d probably have made some anyway! The Great Hall is just so boring when it isn’t decorated, don’t you think?
Yeah, I know what you mean. Oh, there’s Raoul! Hi, Raoul! Glad you could make it.
I’m just glad you invited me. I think you’re the first person in blue who’s smiled at me in weeks. Usually it’s just stares…frowns…spit…noogies…wedgies…once had my underwear magically wedged up all day. Took me most of the next to figure out a counterspell. I’m thinking of transferring colleges. Even putting up with Philippe can’t be this bad.
That’s…sad to hear…oh, hello! Sorry, gotta mingle. Excuse me.

Thank goodness you came along. Raoul is really getting depressing these days.
Well, it’s his own fault for hanging out with the Morvidus students all the time. He could stop doing that anytime he wanted to and the other boys would ease up on him. So what’s this I hear about you finishing studying?
So that’s already gotten around, huh?
This is your party. Oh, I wanted to thank you for sending Zoe Melis my way. She’s great for all sorts of study topics. It’s just too bad you don’t need my services for yourself now, although I have been branching out into some non-school skills these days. You sure I couldn’t set you up with a tutor in Running, or maybe Puzzles?
Thanks, but like I said, I’ve got my tutoring covered. Oh, Em, great! So you could come after all!

Gains of the Week

Dropped In on the Professors’ Lounge.
--Revision Study level at 9.
----Revise pheme learned.
----Enhance pheme learned.
Vrenelle used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 259.

Glamour Phemes increased by 1.
--Extravagance pheme learned.
--Lingual pheme learned.
--Glamour increased by 1.
----Putting On Appearances action learned.
Studied at the Venalicium Library.
--Revision Study level at 10.
----Study level maxed!
----Parental Approval increased by 5.
----Study Mastery: Revision ability learned.

Theory of Glamour increased by 1.
--Beauty of the Evening spell learned.
Dropped In on the Professors’ Lounge.
--Dialectic Study level at 7.
----Relationship with someone raised? Maybe?
----Dialectic Knowledge: Teaching ability learned.

First Principles increased by 1.
--Ignorant pheme learned.
Dropped In on the Professor’s Lounge.
--History Study level at 7.
----Historically Based Prediction ability learned.
----Narrow Focus: History ability learned.
Aveline used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 262.

Revision Methods increased by 1.
--Revision Methods skill maxed!
--Learned about The Stone of Revision.
Patience increased by 1.
--Soothe pheme learned.
Glamour Spells increased by 1.
--Glamour Spells skill maxed!
--Illegal Trade Snitch spell learned.
Famous Speeches increased by 1.
--Astrology pheme learned.
--Rhetoric increased by 1.
----Noble Action ability learned.
Dropped In on the Professors’ Lounge.
--History Study level at 9.
----Past pheme learned.
----Time pheme learned.
----Pitfalls of the Past spell learned.
----Knowledge pheme learned.
----Historical Tendencies spell learned.
Successful event!
--Infiltration increased by 1 step.

Dropped In on the Professors’ Lounge.
--Calligraphy Study level at 9.
----Relationship with Sixt von Rupprecht increased to 1.
----Forger’s Hand ability learned.
Studied at the Venalicium.
--History Study level at 10.
----Study level maxed!
----Parental Approval increased by 5.
----Study Mastery: History ability learned.
Calligraphy Study level at 10.
--Study level maxed!
--Parental Approval increased by 5.
--Study Mastery: Calligraphy ability learned.
Vrenelle used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 265.

Dropped In on the Professors’ Lounge.
--Dialectic Study level at 9.
----Extrapolation of Evidence ability learned.
----Intent pheme learned.
Studied at the Venalicium.
--Dialectic Study level at 10.
----Study level maxed!
----Parental Approval increased by 5.
----Study Mastery: Dialectic ability learned.
Had a Party.
--Relationship with Rui da Casga increased to 9.
--Relationship with Silke Niederstatter increased to 2.
--Relationship with Raoul Leconte increased to 4.
--Relationship with Milena di Monitors increased to 2.
--Money decreased by 20.
Vernin college wins again.

New Abilities

Putting On Appearances: Charm/Acting v9; add chosen emotion (lasts until Rest/high Stress) and +1 Glamour for 2 days.
Study Mastery: Revision (Permanent): +1 on all Revision skill rolls and +1 Finesse.
Beauty of the Evening (Spell): No roll; +2 Observation for 4 days.
Dialectic Knowledge: Teaching (Permanent): +3 to Teach action.
Historically Based Prediction: Intelligence/History v10; +2 Favor with Errus Viada, +1 step in Politics.
Narrow Focus: History: +2 to 2 chosen History subskills for 3 days.
Illegal Trade Snitch (Spell): Intelligence/Manipulation v target’s Insight/Negation Methods; +10 to Concealment factor on target’s random item (basically guaranteeing getting caught) and +1 Glamour Methods for 3 days.
Noble Action: +1 Temperance and Leadership for 6 days, Insight/Oratory v7; +1 to random Relationship and +3 Chance of Discovery for 3 days.
Pitfalls of the Past (Spell): No roll; +2 to History and Danger Sense for 5 days.
Historical Tendencies (Spell): No roll; discover random location and +1 step to Anthropology and random History skill.
Forger’s Hand (Permanent): Forgery increased by 1.
Study Mastery: History (Permanent): +1 on all History rolls and +1 to Famous Battles.
Study Mastery: Calligraphy (Permanent): +1 on all Calligraphy rolls and +1 to Stress Maximum.
Extrapolation of Evidence: Insight/Sleuthing v6 and 13; +1 step Observation (no roll) and +1 step in 2 random skills (one at each value).
Study Mastery: Dialectic (Permanent): +1 on all Dialectic rolls and +1 Insight.

That point in Finesse is especially welcome. Not only is it fairly hard to raise (compared to, say, Insight, which just got its 5th boost), but it’s also fairly important. It controls maximum Concealment, which means more potential contraband, as well as several important skills, Incantation among them. It may be worth the time to head back to Contu’s for a couple days.

And with that, I’ve finished the third and final task set before me, which means it’s time once again for a vote. The first few should look pretty familiar:

A. It’s about time to do something regarding those ghosts in the Cold Room.
B. When is that blasted cat going to be useful, anyway?
C. I get the funny feeling like Tacito has something he’d like to discuss…
D. Vrenelle has an idea, but she needs our help!

The above options I plan to do eventually, but the ones below are less certain. If they get enough votes to hit the top 3, then certainly, and if they get some support, they may show up again regardless, but if no one is terribly interested, we’ll just ignore them and move along.

E. Perhaps Iliana should see what Carmine is doing these days.
F. I’ll bet Malacresta has something to do.
G. Perhaps it's time a professor got the spotlight. How about "Scenes from a Dialectic Class?"
H. Anything else you might think of.

As always, please vote for three options in any order and I’ll pick the top three vote-getters to do next.

One final note: the student council plot will be proceeding on its own timeline. No voting will be necessary.