The Let's Play Archive


by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 35: The Student Council Coup

Nivelos 8-Sententae

Back again, so soon? I don’t suppose you wish to continue your zoology studies?
Actually, this is about the thing with the student council. Em and I were talking some more about it last night and…how exactly could I stop an angry mob?
An interesting question. I suppose you have thought of Persuasion, but you will need something more to convince a larger group, especially one not predisposed to listen to you. In short, my dear, you will need the art of Diplomacy. I can teach you this as well, but first you must answer my riddle.

Thirty white horses on a red hill,
First champ, then stamp, and then stand still.

Teeth! I read that one already. Here’s mine:

Tip of the tree, heart of the wizard.

A rather easy one, don’t you think?
Well, so was yours.
I suppose it was. Very well. In addition to Diplomacy, I shall continue to improve your Syntax, and your Perception may also need improving. Much of speech depends on the state of your audience, and if you misjudge that…

Sometimes mad quests into the cold in search of rare flora actually pay off. Instead of heading down after the Sphinx’s lesson, you went into the high mountains in search of a flower. This time you’ve actually found what you’re looking for: rooting itself in a glacier, you spy a rare ice lily.

The lily that grows only in the deepest of colds is used to enhance many of the more difficult Glamour spells. This ice lily is coated in a fine frost, making it stiff and excessively fragile.

It’ll be of no use to you in pieces. If you want to add this magical aid to your inventory, you’ll have to do it carefully.

Incantation to the rescue.

You put your wand up to the flower’s frail stem and call upon the Invisible Coals of Ladislau. In a few moments, the ice around the stem has thawed, and you’re able to simply pluck it from the earth like any normal flower.

Success! The Ice Lily fits in a “flower” slot all its own and grants +2 Glamour Methods. Pretty nice for a random event.

…And a very fine prize, but it is sadly not the sort of information I look for.
Now, your riddle:

Two words am I, and to keep me you must first give me.

I give…so I can keep…my word?
Okay, here’s mine:

First you'll ache for me,
Then you'll peel,
Or possibly pare,
Then lick,
And finally eat.

A bit obscure, isn’t it?
I thought it was pretty obvious, at least if you concentrate on the right words.
Perhaps. Today I shall follow Diplomacy with some Incantation Spells, and I suspect your Endurance will improve as you practice the Torrential Downpour spell. Finally, we must keep up your lessons on Accounting. Now, study this spell very closely, as you’ll need to replicate it exactly…

This time the Sphinx gave you plenty of warning yesterday that she would be unavailable once again, so instead the evening finds you well ensconced in the Library of Manetele, studying historical examples of diplomatic actions.

Although you really aren’t learning as much as you used to from browsing the Revision books, and you can’t bring yourself to care much about forging. Perhaps it’s time to move to one of the other Libraries instead?

I do hope you answer today’s riddle. I have quite the program prepared for today.

Alive without breath,
As cold as death,
Clad in mail never clinking,
Never thirsty, ever drinking.

That has to be a fish, right? How about this one:

The dragon's request
Drove the merchantman's quest
For the lute player's song
Of what the architecht's drawn.
I am needed by all, they'll call me the best,
But grab they the wrong, they'll use me not long.

I believe a fish could be involved in your riddle, too. The rhyme is good, but that “wrong” distracts from the scheme.
I know, but “bad” just sounded even worse.
We shall leave that for a different session. Right now, in addition to Diplomacy, I have some fish in a tank for you to dissect. You will learn something of Biology, as well as Analysis and a bit of Scent Detection. Now don’t be squeamish, my dear, the food on your plate goes through much worse than this…

With the weekend coming up quick, you risk an early morning jaunt into the Manetele. You’ll want to know everything you can about Diplomacy come the weekend.

Too much for one, just enough for two, and vanished with three.

A secret, right?
Indeed, and I imagine you’ve had much to think of regarding this problem of late.
Yeah, but at least I can trust that everyone in the conspiracy has a good reason to stick with it.

I'll start by taking the front off your protections,
For the rest, I rate you'll call yourself my better,
But ship me a cannon and I'll show you my worth.

Quite obscure. You’re getting better.
I was worried it was a little too obscure, myself. That’s why it’s three lines instead of two, so I could put in the extra hint.
I’m sure it’s quite helpful, my dear. Now am I right in hearing that you skipped your calligraphy class today? Such a shame; the importance of Orthography is one of the things Aranaz and I agreed upon. We shall also study Ink Compounds today, and finish up our study of Diplomacy. Finally, we might study the Voice itself to learn its impact on others.

While Intense Focus may have made most pheme-based buffing obsolete, phemes still have a place when it comes to parent skills, which Intense Focus can only touch indirectly. Thus we return to Adanella’s Wardrobe with a pair of Charm phemes, which add +1 to Charm and Beguile each.

You and Emilia are speaking privately in a dark corner of the common room, going over the modified plan once more.

Things would’ve been so much smoother if Lambert hadn’t been snooping around. We could’ve gotten the Durand college riled up all on its own, but Lambert would’ve know right away we were the ones doing it. Making the riot look as legitimate as possible is so much harder, but it’s the only way to keep people from listening to him.
So did you get anything useful from Carmine and Basia last night?
Yeah…well, we figured, you know, if something happened to you, no one would believe Aranaz was behind it.
Nothing majorly bad! I mean, we were already planning on having you show up and calm down the crowd!
Yeah, after the professors stop them!
Well, that’s the thing Carmine was worrying about. Won’t the professors just drag everyone away to their different dorms? Plus if you get there early, the professors would see you being heroic, too.
Fine, but I’ll need to get prepared for this. Some Negation spells—
About that…
…What is it, Em?
Carmine and Basia have already…kind of started a riot already. Down in the Great Hall. You’ll probably have to hurry to get there before the professors do.

You groan and hurry off. This should be interesting.

You can see from the blue Diplomacy that Iliana maybe didn’t have to study Diplomacy all the way up to 10. However, Diplomacy is one of those skills that really fit into her paradigm, so I figured there was no harm in maxing it out.

You rush down to the Great Hall. Around twenty or so masked students are creating havoc. Some are scrawling anti-council messages on pillars and walls, while other students are creating effigies (upon which they’re practicing some particularly nasty spells). Whatever Basia and Carmine said really took root. You hear some assorted shouts of “Down with student government!” and “No new rules without fair representation!”

As soon as they spot you walking in, they start directing their complaints directly at you. You take a deep breath and start your speech:

My friends, I know your frustrations with the student government. I don’t agree with the council on everything myself! But we are always open to public petitions, so if you would just attend the meetings, I’m sure you could make yourself heard, air your concerns, and—

And now the rioters start throwing fruit at you.

Luckily, Professor Briardi chooses this moment to run into the Great Hall. Stopping next to you, she whispers:

Thanks for trying your best. You masked vandals are in big trouble!

With a wave of her wand, Briardi freezes them all until they can be unmasked and have their names taken down for detention.

Not quite what you had hoped for, but close enough. You just hope Basia and Carmine got away in time.

You finally decide you have procrastinated enough (perhaps because the two books you borrowed are about to come due), and you proceed to the rarely used door that guards the Cold Room.

It has been many months since you last entered the Cold Room, and as a result, the casualness with which you entered the last time has long since evaporated. Maybe you’ll get lucky and the ghosts won’t have noticed how long it’s been since you last visited. Maybe you’ll get unlucky and the ghosts will be so severely offended that they’ll chase you out and all your effort will be for nothing.

Eyes clenched once more, you turn the knob and step into the room. The cacophony and sensation of a furious tumult is the same, but the ruckus dies down faster than you recall from before. The two ghosts must have expected your arrival after all. Opening your eyes, you see the spirits watching you with some expectation.

Well, lass, fancy seeing you here once again! Haven’t seen you in quite some time now, have we Vincenzo?
We were beginning to think you’d forgotten all about us.
Quite the blow to the old ego.
Or worse, you’d spent all this time hunting for our names in vain! Terrible to think we’d be forgotten after all we did, wouldn’t it?
I daresay, it would be almost as bad as losing my duel to you, Paolo.
Ha! Likewise, I assure you! So which is it, lass? I’m afraid I’d have to consider rudeness the better alternative at present.
Oh, well, I never forgot about you two; I mean, that would be pretty hard. It’s just…it’s been a very, very busy year at school for me, and I knew you two wouldn’t be going anywhere. Not unless—I mean, I found what you were asking for. Kind of…

You present the two tomes to their respective subjects. As they accept the books, the ghosts look more solemn than they have before, but then the face of each lights up with joy. In unison. It’s a bit creepy. They then shout, still in unison:

I am the greatest! The greatest!

It’s still a bit creepy. Then, without so much as looking at each other, the two forms vanish and reappear at opposite ends of the room in what you recognize as the starting stance for a duel.

You’ll have to act fast if you want to do anything except watch them get back into their contest.

Diplomacy is obviously a good choice here, but it’s unacceptable right now. Remember back when I said this adventure has three branches? The Diplomacy choice will lead to reconciling the two duelists and sending them Beyond, while Blackmail ends with forcing the pair to perform one devious task for the PC before leaving forever. As for Beguile? Now that’s got some interesting potential…

You quickly run in between the two ghosts and hold up your hands for them to stop. They both attempt to shoo you away, but you stand firm.

I say! You know this duel must be settled!

Paolo tries to rap you on the head with a wand made of nothing, but you plant your feet and refuse to budge. The two ghosts trade a look of frustration and drop their dueling stances.

What is it you want, lass?
I just wanted to say that if you two refuse to stop dueling constantly, then there’s no way for a student like me to even watch a pair of legendary spirits like yourselves. So if you wouldn’t mind holding off on your duel, I would love to stay around and take in some of your greatness.

The pair is now looking at you as warmly as chilly spirits can.

…I suppose we do miss interactions with the students.
Yes, quite.
They used to love watching us duel and listening to our dueling stories. Would you care to hear some?

You nod and sit down as the two share a series of staggeringly technical accounts of the duels they have participated in. Discussions range from wrist angle and the ratio of body limb positions to the arrangement of stars and planets. They both speak of weaving phemes together as a poet might speak of a lover. Eventually, you have to politely excuse yourself to get yourself to dinner, but you can tell you’ve made a valuable first step. They even wait until you get all the way out of the room before they begin fighting again.

You’re at the last of your conspiratorial nighttime meetings.

We’re near the end, everyone. At the emergency student council meeting in two days, you’ll bring up the need to form the Committee of un-Academagian Activities, and then move to appoint yourself the chairperson.
Right, but first we have some councilmembers to take care of. While I can manipulate most of the council, we’ll have some trouble from Catherine Chard, Reitz von Lutersee, Honors Plafox, and Cinzia Ammacapani. They’ll either have a fit at giving someone that much power or else want the position themselves.
And that’s why we’re here tonight: we’ll make sure that none of them can make it to the meeting. We’ll have to work separately for this and come up with different reasons why these students can’t make the meeting. That way it’ll look less like a conspiracy and more like unfortunate timing.

After assigning everyone else a particular target, Emilia gives you Cinzia.

Everyone got that? Great!

So how can you prevent Cinzia from coming to the next council meeting?

To be continued…

…After a quick use of Intense Focus. After which Manipulation is still red. Hopefully that Character Study option is hiding a Chance of Success boost.

You know Cinzia is a bit of an organizing freak, but what else do you know about her? Hmm. By the way she bosses everyone around, you’d say she wasn’t extremely confident in her organizing skills (else she wouldn’t have to yell to be obeyed). She also seems the type to badmouth the student council even though she’s already bossed her way into chairpersonship.

Not enough to change option colors, but will it make a difference?

During breakfast, you find Cinzia and draw her away to speak privately.

Yes? What’s this about?
Well…gosh, this is hard to bring up…
Spit it out!
Alright. I didn’t want to be the one to say this, but…shouldn’t you recuse yourself from the emergency meeting?
Why would I do that?

Cinzia starts tapping her foot in annoyance.

Well, two students from Avila were part of the riot yesterday: Irene and Avgust.
So? Every college had students in the riot.
Well, yes, but those students weren’t encouraged by someone on the council.
What?! Are you accusing me of stirring up the riot?
Oh, no, not at all! I’m sure the whole thing was just an accident.
What do you mean, “accident?”
I did some investigating last night, after the riot broke up, and it seems the two of them overheard you ranting about the student council, something about how you’d change things if only you had some power, how the council is just a joke, that sort of thing.

Cinzia goes pale.

Okay, maybe I haven’t always been respectful of the student council, but I was…joking! I didn’t tell anyone to riot!
That’s not what they told me. They said they respected you so much they decided to take matters into their own hands. They thought of you as their leader.
What—what should I do?!
Oh, I’m sure you’ll be fine! That is, as long as you don’t go to the emergency meeting, I’ll bet no one will think about your connection to the rioters and the whole thing will blow over.
Fine…yes, I could just sit in my dorm room…the whole thing will blow over…

You have to control yourself carefully to avoid smiling as Cinzia walks off—someone might be watching. Well, you did your part. Let’s hope the others did theirs.

Still, no reason not to raise your profile a bit higher before the big meeting. The idea came to you when you woke up this morning: a way to keep Paolo and Vincenzo content and even bring about a little good for the school at the same time.

There is no formal class for duelists at the Academagia. At least not yet. All you need now are students. Thankfully, they happen to be everywhere.

Fortunately, that Beguile check was pretty much the hardest one for this adventure string. It’s all downhill from here.

You wait until there’s a relative lull in the Great Hall. Kurt Henning and Gwendy Zuyder are here, so you’re fairly certain you won’t be playing to deaf ears when you start talking about combat and bloodshed. With a burst of speed you carefully calculate to seem impassioned and sudden, you leap upon one of the central tables in the room and raise your fist in the air.

For too long the professors of the Academagia have treated us all like children! For too long we have toiled under the yoke of their “theories.” For too long our brilliance has been dulled behind a haze of their naysaying! But no more! I have discovered a way to do better, to be better! I have found a secret and powerful knowledge from the halcyon days of magic, when skill meant power and power meant glory!
That’s right: dueling! You, yes, you can be trained by the two finest duelist to ever live on Elumia! Merely come when I call for you—but it must be quiet! It must remain secret, lest our glorious fire be snuffed once more by that haze of mediocrity.

You’ve got them thumping on the tables in agreement by the time you’re done. A fine bit of speechifying, if you do say so yourself.

…80/20, and that’s the best I can do.
Then your best is an insult! The Five-Handed Tree is worth way more than that, more than a fair share, even! I mean, who’ve you got in that little Fellowship of yours? It’s still just you and Montague, isn’t it?
Yeah, but Montague’s my friend. My crew is a lot bigger, and frankly I don’t see what your Tree can offer that we can’t do on our own.
Oh yeah? You must have heard the rumors going around about us. And you know what me and Emilia have been planning.
That’s all high-profile stuff. I need people who can keep a low profile, people who’re sharp, sneaky, and very trustworthy.
You want to see the Five-Handed Tree do sneaky? Fine, we can pass any test you give us. Just remember we’ll take nothing less than an alliance and a fair share of any take.

Pretty hard for the first step in an adventure, but Carmine’s is shorter than most. Acrobatics is simply leaping off the Aranaz building, so let’s pick Tactics.

Knowing that the faculty offices are closed for the holiday, you and the rest of your Clique quickly move to sneak in and steal your academic records. As usual, Vrenelle runs interference, Tacito keeps lookout, Rui da Casga checks for traps and alarms, and Emilia helps you search for the right documents.

The plan goes off perfectly. You even have time to admire all the demerits on your respective records: Rui’s sheet is practically written in red marks, Emilia’s is clean as a whistle, and you are a bit disturbed to see that the faculty knew more about your activities than you suspected. Still, this should be more than enough to convince Carmine that you’re serious about joining forces.

It’s not your finest moment, really. You’re on your way back to your dorm after buying new socks when you come upon a…something. It’s big and ape-like, and there’s a dark-haired girl hanging onto its head, and it’s carrying something big in its arms.

So you do the sensible thing: you jump out of its way and you draw your wand. And it does the sensible thing too, but when it jumps back, the object it’s carrying falls from its arms, hits the pavement, and shatters.

“Oh, oh no,” says the girl on its back.

You look at the new-formed rubble and see a few familiar shapes: it looks like it was one of those little shrines little old ladies back home keep in their bedrooms. Plaster and stone, shaped like a window, hung on a wall, pictures of saints inside, that kind of thing.

The ape…thing is trying to scoop it all up, but its hands aren’t really good for the fine work. The girl (who looks a few years older than yourself) is actually balanced on its shoulder, and from the looks of it she’s held on by a complicated array of straps. It takes a second more to realize her legs look rather thin and withered, and then the rest of the dots connect themselves.

A riding Familiar. You hadn’t realized there were such things until now.

Better stay and help. It’s only polite.

“Believe it or not, but I’m almost as good at cleaning up messes as I am at making them,” you start. “Can I give you a hand?”

“That would actually be great,” the student agrees. “If you can just pile up the pieces you can find, I think I can revise them all back into their original form. Anival and I probably broke this thing half a dozen times when we were making it, so…it’s doable.”

“Is this a hobby?” you inquire, shoveling shards of plaster together. “Or is it a job?”

“Job,” she explains, swaying in her harness as the creature hunts for errant shards. “Well, both, sort of. One of Professor Ringraeyer’s ancestors actually was a saint, so I made one of these for her to get myself out of detention, and it just kind of took off from there. Turns out you can get a couple thousand for a good one of these in Frontino, if you know what you’re doing.”

“Wow. No wonder you’re in Vernin,” you comment, looking at the color of her robes.

“No wonder,” she concurs, pulling out her wand. “Could you take a step back?”

You do so, and the pieces start moving together. Assured that you’ve done what you can, you say, “I guess I should go. Someone might see me carrying socks and think they’d be better as scorpions or something.”

“No problem. Thanks for helping,” the girl replies. “See you around sometime.”

You wave and go on your way.

You look yourself over one last time in the mirror; you may not have much time thanks to the emergency meeting later, but you’re determined to put in a good appearance at the Sententae ball before it starts. You’re not terribly interested in winning any hearts tonight, but you’re certainly looking forward to watching lovers’ pranks for as long as you can remain.

Sure enough, when you reach the ballroom, everyone is dressed up and excited for the festivities. Then, all of a sudden, Luti Jaconelli walks up to you excitedly.

You have to see this prank someone just pulled!

Luti guides you to the scene of the crime. There, written on the wall in large print are the words, “Iliana, you’re a dream wizard. Let’s swap some magic tips.”

You can feel yourself turning bright red as the entire school seems to double over and laugh at you. What do you do?

Sleuthing is the better option, plus it looks to be an investigation.

You’d really like to find out who did this and give that person a piece of your mind. You determine the best way to start is by scanning the room and seeing who isn’t present; the guilty always like to hide. You search left, then right, and then left again. Aha! Rikildis von Kiep is nowhere to be found.

A pair of black options, then? May as well go with the unlocked option.

Now that you know Rikildis is missing, you set about trying to find her. The hallway might be a good place to look. You creep down away from the ballroom and, sure enough, Rikildis is crouched in a far-off corner, giggling.

There you are, I knew it! How could you embarrass me like that? I thought we were friends!
Gosh, don’t get so upset. It was just a joke. Don’t you know how to take a joke?
I guess not.

You turn away and leave her. You decide to head to the council meeting early instead; you’ve had enough of this Sententae business to last the rest of your life.

This is it! All your hard work has led up to this emergency meeting. Despite the Sententae ball continuing just a few rooms down, students once again pack the room. From your spot on the council table, you see Emilia sitting near the front with a worried look.

You’ve already let the council know Cinzia won’t be coming, “Out of guilt that she couldn’t stop the riot from happening,” so Cirillo Laziosi calls the meeting to order.

First order of business: there have been a disturbing number of threats against the student council. A riot even broke out. How do we handle this situation?

It’s the moment of truth. You stand up and give your proposal:

I believe that a new branch of the student council should be formed. It shall be called the Committee of un-Academagian Activites. This committee will be empowered to investigate any and all threats against the council. As its chairperson, I promise to ensure that all students remain safe and happy.

To your surprise, no one objects. You’re pretty sure that they must not realize the implications of this act, or else they might say something. Emilia smiles and gives you a concealed thumbs-up.

Alright, sounds like a good idea to me. Any objections? No? In that case—


Everyone looks toward the entrance. A disheveled Honors Plafox walks into the room. Twigs are sticking out of her hair and she’s covered in mud and brambles, but even so she strides with purpose and dignity as though she were the lead actress of a play. Lambert Cobo, looking rather pleased with himself, follows her into the room.

I was stopped from coming to this meeting. I was ambushed by some sort of fiend and tied up! Lambert rescued me in my darkest hour, and he’s informed me of something very interesting…

You never knew Honors could be so loud. Quick! Interrupt her with something or you’ll never get your plan to pass!

Oh my, look at this. Yes, for some reason the game takes pity on you and the very last check on this adventure line is absurdly easy (even though that Character Study investigation is a more typical 19). It’s really just a matter of picking which attribute you want to raise. And in this case, Rhetoric is the right path.

While I’m sure we would love to hear your story, Honors, we are in the middle of passing a very important piece of legislation right now.
I will not be silenced! You and Emilia—
Fine, I admit it!
Yes, it’s true! I was thinking of appointing Emilia as an advisor to my committee. I realize it’s wrong to appoint students who weren’t elected to committees, but Emilia is an outstanding student who doesn’t get nearly as much recognition as she deserves. She’s shy, you know, and she’d never run for office, but she cares so deeply about the safety of Academagia, I knew she would do a fantastic job. So forgive me, everyone, forgive me for caring so deeply about Academagia, the greatest magic academy in the world—with its amazing professors, wonderful staff, and brilliant students—forgive me for wanting only the best to protect this school, regardless of a few words on a piece of paper.
That’s not what I was going to say! You should be impeached for conspiracy for what you’ve done!

But no one can hear Honors over the roar of applause the students are giving you. Cirillo has to shout to be heard:

All those in favor of the committee?

Another roar from the audience and the table is his response.

Then it’s passed! Congratulations on your new position, Iliana!

After the meeting, Emilia breaks into a huge grin and the two of you hug.

We did it! Now we never have to worry about Durand college ever giving us trouble!

Life is good.

I only wish the game gave a special ability for this. Oh well, an attribute point is pretty nice, too.

Gains of the Week

Illustration increased by 1.
--Illustrator’s Hand spell learned.
--Calligraphy increased by 1.
----Calligrapher’s Temperament ability learned.
Glamour Methods increased by 1.
--Hostis pheme learned.
--Glamour increased by 1.
----Glamour skill maxed!
----Honey Speech spell learned.
Selective Focus used on Diplomacy.
Matched Wits with the Emperor’s Sphinx.
--Syntax increased by 1 step.
--Diplomacy increased by 1 step.
--Perception increased by 1 step.
----Light pheme learned.
Successful event!
--Ice Lily gained.
--Flowers increased by 1 step.
----Water pheme learned.

Forms increased by 1.
--Learned about the Graffiti Closet.
Studied at Manetele.
--Diplomacy increased by 1 step.
--Armorer increased by 1 step.
Matched Wits with the Emperor’s Sphinx.
--Accounting increased by 1 step.
----Buebal’s First Rate Goods, Catalog available.
--Diplomacy increased by 1 step.
----Informed on Rixenda la Serena.
--Endurance increased by 1 step.
----Learned about Asastis Falls.
--Incantation Spells increased by 1 step.
----Torrential Downpour spell learned.
Vrenelle used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 271.

Debate increased by 1.
--Concede pheme learned.
The History of Magic increased by 1.
Studied at Manetele.
--Diplomacy increased by 1 step.
--Weaponsmith increased by 1 step.
----Learned about Guard’s Armory: Display Room.
----Forge increased by 1.
------Fire pheme learned.
Aveline used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 274.

Theory of Negation increased by 1.
--Understanding pheme learned.
Criminal Law increased by 1.
--Ius Rei, Catalog available.
--Law increased by 1.
----Cite Precedent ability learned.
Matched Wits with the Emperor’s Sphinx.
--Biology increased by 1 step.
----Sickness pheme learned.
----Natural Philosophy increased by 1.
--Diplomacy increased by 1 step.
----Relief pheme learned.
--Scent Detection increased by 1 step.
----Scent pheme learned.
--Analyze increased by 1 step.

Studied at Manetele.
--Diplomacy increased by 1 step.
--Revision Spells increased by 1 step.
--Jeweler increased by 1 step.
----Subtlety pheme learned.
Temperance increased by 1.
Ethics increased by 1.
Matched Wits with the Emperor’s Sphinx.
--Ink Compounds increased by 1 step.
--Diplomacy increased by 1 step.
----Diplomacy skill maxed!
----Best Manners ability learned.
--Voice increased by 1 step.
--Orthography increased by 1 step.
----Scry pheme learned.

Successful adventure!
--Diplomacy cannot be increased.
Cast Adanella’s Wardrobe.
--Plus 1 to Courtly Fashion, Confidence, and Aesthetics.
--Plus 2 to Charm and Beguile.
Successful adventure!
--Storytelling increased by 1 step.
Aveline used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 277.

Cast Intense Focus.
--Plus 5 to Manipulation.
--Plus 1 to Insight.
--Minus 2 to Running and Geometric Laws.
Successful adventure!
--Manipulation increased by 1 step.
----Learned about Friendship Bracelet.
----Compete increased by 6 (?!).
------Pep Talk action learned.
------Hostis pheme learned.
------Earth pheme learned.
------Competitive Spirit spell learned.
------Choke spell learned.
------Rabble Rouse action learned.
Successful adventure!
--Passion increased by 2 steps.
----Relationship with Aymeri Cour increased to 1.
Malacresta used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 280.

Successful adventure!
--Creativity increased by 1 step.
----Learned about Ardica Sandcastles.
Handled Familiar.
--Cpt. Felix’s Bond of Silver increased by 2 steps.
----Refreshment of Mind ability learned.
----Bond increased by 1.
--Cpt. Felix’s Running increased by 2 (separate) steps.
----Learned about Academagia Groundskeeper’s Office.
Successful adventure!
--Charm increased by 1.
Successful event!
--Conversation increased by 1 step.
----Iron Jaw spell learned.
Unsuccessful holiday.
--Tease increased by 1 step.
Morvidus wins the prize!

New Abilities

Illustrator’s Hand (Spell): Finesse/Glamour v7 and 13; +3 to Illustration, Drafting, and Demi-Tour, higher check grants +1 Finesse, spell lasts 3 days.
Calligrapher’s Temperament (Permanent): +1 Patience and Art Appreciation.
Honey Speech (Spell): Charm/Diction v5; +1 Confidence, Passion, and Rhetoric for 7 days.
Stand and Be Pressed (Asastis Falls): Fitness/Willpower v5; +2 Stress Maximum, +1 Composure, and -1 random Gossip skill for 2 days.
Torrential Downpour (Spell): No roll; -3 to target’s Endurance and -1 Luck for 2 days.
Care for Arms (Guard’s Armory): +25 pims and +1 step in Weaponsmith and Armorer.
Cite Precedent (Permanent): +1 to all Law-based actions and abilities.
Best Manners (Permanent): +1 to all Social actions.
Pep Talk: Charm/Conversation v4; +1 Merit and +1 Relationship with random college mate.
Competitive Spirit (Spell): Finesse/Glamour Methods v4; +4 Compete and Creativity and +2 to Insight for 2 days.
Choke (Spell): Finesse/Glamour Methods v11; -5 Competition and -1 Finesse for 2 days, and +2 Stress, and -3 Merit.
Rabble Rouse: +4 Compete, +3 Demi-Tour, +1 Fitness, -2 Tactics, and +1 Stress for 2 days.
Play among the Sandcastles: +1 step in Creativity and Art Appreciation, and -2 Stress.
Build a Sandcastle: +1 step in Revision Methods and Planning; Finesse/Creativity v21 for Soaring among the Towers emotion (+1 Passion, Art Appreciation, and all Revision skills).
Refreshment of Mind: -5 Stress and gain Calm emotion (+1 Insight, Natural Philosophy, and Religion).
Run a Light Training Route (Groundskeeper’s Office): +1 step in Running and 5% chance of permanent +1 Fitness.
Run a Moderately Ambitious Training Route: +2 Stress, +2 steps in Running, and 7% chance of permanent +1 Fitness.
Run a Potentially Crippling Training Route: +4 Stress, +3 steps in Running, and 10% chance of permanent +1 Fitness.
Iron Jaw (Spell): Charm/Befriend v4 and 6; -2 to target’s Conversation and Flattery and -2 to target’s Befriend and Flirting for 5 days.

So yeah, you may have noticed that I somehow got all the skill perks for boosting Compete up to level 10 even though I only got 1 lasting point in Manipulation. Planning and Wits are two other Compete skills that Iliana’s had at 10 for a while now, and so if I had boosted Manipulation the hard way I would have gotten all those spells and actions. As it is, I seem to have benefited from an odd bug. I’ve already checked it out, and while Compete will go down to 5 after Intense Focus wears off, it still considers itself maxed out and the skill perks remain.