The Let's Play Archive


by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 40: Old Man Mollers and the Meddling Kids

Aruit 1-7

Curiosity has brought you to the Library of Longshade today. Tacito Viadana has used the Sending spell to gather the Five-Handed Tree; so far as you remember, this is the first time he has ever done so.

Thank you all for coming. You all know I do a little detecting for folks now and then?

You nod along with everyone else. Tacito’s uncanny ability to know where everyone and everything is at any given time is the reason you recruited him into your Clique, after all. This knowledge has come in handy more than once since befriending him, but he’s continued to help others (for free, much to your disapproval).

Well, I’ve been given a new case, and this time I think I may need some help. Ausdauer Mollers tells me her grandfather has gone missing. She’s asked me to find him for the sake of her family.
I don’t suppose they’re paying you this time?
No. I wouldn’t take money for this sort of thing.
But a time like this is when they’d pay you the most!
Come on, Em, it’s his case; let him run it how he wants. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m in. This sounds like it could be a lot of fun! …By the way, is someone wearing perfume? It smells nice.
It’s cologne. And thanks, I’ve only just started…um, can we go now?
Lead the way.

Unlike the others, you are fully aware that having a friend owe you a favor can be as valuable as any stack of pims. After some persuading, you convince the rest of your Clique to join in, and you all head over to Hedi College to get more info from Ausdauer.

Along the way, Tacito explains that getting information out of Ausdauer was part of the reason he wanted help.

She wouldn’t stop crying while she was talking to me. I didn’t get much out of her, and I’m not too good at…calming girls down.

When you find Ausdauer and Tacito tries to question her again, she breaks into tears and soon starts sobbing too hard to finish a sentence. Looks like you’ll have to figure out how to stop her from carrying on if you want a coherent answer.

…How is that “Etiquette,” exactly?

Hugs fix everything.

Vrenelle wraps her arms around Ausdauer, giving her a nice, hearty bear hug. After patting a few last sobs out of Ausdauer’s chest, the two disengage and Ausdauer is able to calm down and explain.

The last time anyone in my family saw my grandfather was over a week ago. Then we got this.

She pulls an envelope out of her pack and hands it to Tacito. As he examines the letter, Ausdauer continues:

It’s from Grandpa. He says he’s going away and might not ever come back, and that we shouldn’t bother looking for him. But of course we can’t just let go like that! Especially if he—if he went and—

Ausdauer threatens to dissolve into tears once more, but Tacito cuts her short.

Don’t worry. This may just be what we need. Guys, I’ll need some time to analyze this. Meet me back in the library tomorrow.

A day passes, and you assemble at one of the quieter tables in the Venalicium.

Alright, I’ve had a good look at the letter, and I think there are two different ways we can track down where Ausdauer’s grandfather went.

Tacito’s adventure forks here. The Creativity option is just a Chance of Success booster, so the two real options here are to trace back the envelope to its origin or else get a dog to sniff him down. Quite aside from the harder check to enlist the canine, Iliana is very clearly a cat person (and a people person), so there’s one sure way to go from here. Plus the two paths meet up by the end, so there’s no real need to pick one over another.

I like the dog idea!
I don’t.
Me neither, it sounds too complicated. Wouldn’t we need to find a bloodhound specifically and make sure it does what we want? I’d just like to find where this letter came from and ask around there.
Wait. The old guy left a forwarding address? We could solve this case in time for dinner.
It won’t be that easy, Rui. The address is for a retirement home in town, the one where Ausdauer’s family sent their grandfather in the first place. He’s long gone, but we can interview his friends for information. There may also be clues as to where he went among his personal effects.
His what?
His stuff, Rui.
Well, it’s a little late to check there now, but we should try soon. The trail may get cold if we wait too long.

Well. That went horribly.
I told you guys, you should’ve let me distract her.
That would only have worked for a couple minutes at best, and we need to spend a lot more than that to get anything out of those old fogies.
I blame myself. I should’ve told her we were family, like you said.
Nah, that probably wouldn’t have worked with all of us there. We’ll just have to try something else.
What, though? The receptionist will know it’s us if we just walk in again.

The Perception option leads to sneaking in via the maid’s cart. Revision Spells is just so much more dignified, don’t you think?

I’ve got it! We can use Wizard’s Tailor to change our clothes and Lesser Alteration of Color to change our hair and eye color. The receptionist probably won’t think to look too hard at us. It’ll have to be just me and Tacito this time, though. Too many and we’d look suspicious again.
How come you get to go?
Because Tacito is the detective and I’m the best Revisionist of anyone here. We’ll tell you how it goes when we get back.

The actual adventure describes this stuff happening in the present tense, but then the next segment (which doesn’t occur immediately) acts like it only just happened, so I’m modifying the timing a bit. Luckily for you, the next segment takes place tomorrow, so no need to be impatient.

Walking down the hall, you’re blindsided by Philippe Marchant, who insists that you help him on “a little project” he’s been working on. Too afraid to say no, you agree.

It turns out that it’s not a school project he needs help with, but a catapult he plans to use for “entertainment” purposes!

After slaving away for far too long, you finish. However, before you can get away, Philippe grabs your shoulder and insists that someone will need to test it to make sure it works. You’re confident he’s talking more about the payload than about pulling levers.

Time to go all Bugs Bunny on the class bully.

You cautiously step into the basket, but before Philippe can do anything, you hold out your hand and give a confused look at your feet.

What’s wrong?
It’s my feet—they’re stuck to the basket.

You make a show of pulling at your legs for emphasis.

That’s not possible. Now get ready, ‘cause here we go—
Wait! If my feet really are stuck, I won’t go flying at all. It won’t be nearly as fun that way, would it?
Nah, I guess you’re right. Here, give me your arms.

Philippe reaches up and grabs your wrists. Since he isn’t expecting much resistance, you are easily able to pull him up into the basket as you leap down. Looking a little stunned by this turn of events, he gives you a bewildered look.

Hey, this basket isn’t sticky.
Nope. Have fun!

Before he can do anything, you pull the lever and watch as the catapult sends Philippe flying over the garden wall. He lands with a crash in some bushes and you can hear him start to cry.

Suppressing a laugh, you get out of there quick. You’ll be avoiding Philippe for quite a while.

You and Tacito return to the retirement home with your appearances altered and the receptionist lets you through without any trouble. Once in Grandpa Mollers’ room, you search it from top to bottom and discover an assortment of odds and ends, though nothing meaningful to his disappearances. Luckily, Tacito finds the old man’s schedule book. It’s empty as of the day he left, but you notice an almost daily reminder to meet up with Reginald and Moors for cards. Noting the place and time, you find the rec room and, sure enough, two old men playing cards.

Tacito interviews them directly about Mollers’ disappearance, but the two give each other a sidelong glance and clam up.

You’re certain now that they know something, but you’ll need to butter them up to get anything useful.

Not really “buttering up” so much as “irritating them into talking” or “gambling for the info.” Only one option is possible, so…

You and Tacito sit down at a table near the two old men. You heave a deep sigh and loudly state how you can’t wait to grow up. Right on cue, the two old men turn around and begin lecturing you on enjoying your youth. You feign interest and lead them down tangents about their own youth, eventually bringing up Grandpa Mollers. The two surprise you by mentioning something about him having untold sums of money locked in a chest in the basement of the retirement home…

You’ve been looking forward to the big hide-and-seek game played in honor of the Festival of the Promised Road. Sure, you’re getting a bit old for the whole Dragons vs. Non-Dragons game, but it’s fun, so why not keep playing while you still can?

The game begins, and you soon realize that your hiding spot behind a distant tree probably isn’t as secluded as you’d hoped it would be. What do you do?

Hmm, good question. Let’s scout around first.

You try to think of alternate hiding locations. Unfortunately, all you can come up with are other big trees. That’ll mean still being out in the open, and that just isn’t going to be good enough.

Nuts. Well, what else is magic for but cheating?

You decide to cast a Bubble spell around yourself, which will prevent anyone from actually touching you and thus tagging you out. Sure enough, mere moments after you have protected yourself, several students from the other side try to get you. They press and poke your bubble, but they cannot pop it. Looks like you’re safe! Well, at least until they complain to the teachers about using magic to fend off losing…

You find yourself a bit surprised when, after the game ends, Irene Oxina comes over from the other team to talk to you.

I just wanted to say sorry for how our side went and told on you like that. But you really should have found a better spot than just behind a tree like that.
Thanks, but as far as I care, I beat you guys fair and square. I mean, we’re here to learn magic, aren’t we?
Fine, then, see if I care!

Irene storms off in a huff. You probably could have handled that better, but you’re honestly a bit peeved yourself about what happened.

Anyone think of a way to get under the retirement home yet?
No. And believe me, it’s not for lack of trying.
Grandpa Mollers has been under there, we know that. It’s just a matter of finding how he got down there.
And not getting caught in the process.
Hmm. Oh hey, did I mention that Rune Girl heard about a prophecy the other day? Something about her being the Champion of the Wall.
Ooh, so she’s a Chosen One? Neat!
I guess that makes me the Hand of Destiny for knocking her into the ritual.
Bah. I don’t like prophecies. No prophecy’s gonna hold my hand when I get famous and powerful. Blah blah blah blah blah blah—
Blah blah?
Blah blah. Blah? Blah blah blah.

You’re going to catch that blasted mouse today! The little monster probably thought you forgot all about it, but have you got a surprise for him! You never forget, and today you’re going to catch yourself a rodent!

You pace back and forth outside the door, letting out loud yowls and meows so your human will know how important it is for you to get through the door. Finally, after what seems like an eternity, the human saunters over to the door and tries to open it.

Sadly, it is locked, and all the jiggling in the world isn’t going to get the door open. It looks like you’ll have to find another way into the room. The smell of the mouse is driving you mad.

At last, the human backs away from the door, and as she does so, you notice a small rectangular window just above the door. Better yet, it’s open! If you can just get up there, you can probably slip in.

Why must you do everything yourself?

Athletics leads to an option to use the owner as a stepping stool.

Looks like if you want to get up there, you’ll need to climb. Well, you are a cat, after all. You extend your claws, leap as high as you can, and dig them into the wooden doorframe. With an air of expertise, you climb up to the window, and after just a moment or two of struggling, you press yourself past the pane and push into the locked room, all while your human looks on in wonder, her worthless wand out and pointed to the floor.

Once through, you jump down to the floor and have a sniff around. Of course, there’s no need to be hasty. Now that you know how to get in, you can come back whenever you want to.

I must admit, I have been eager for your arrival. Have you the map?
Yep, I got it right here.
Excellent. And what lesson do you wish to learn today?
I’ve been helping Tacito out with a case of his, and all this searching everything one piece at a time has been really hard. I thought maybe you could help my Dedication?
Very well, although it is not something easily taught directly. Instead, I believe I shall show you how to Dance, as well as how to Climb. Finally, a bit of the Theory of Astrology may do you some good; I can see already that it has much to do with how this map functions. Let us begin by climbing down to the dance hall.

Dedication is near max anyway and the adventure option is purple, so I figured I’d just skip straight to the buffing. There’s also another reason, but it failed to work on Friday, so I’ll just skip the explanation for now.

Feeling good about the day, you casually stroll through one of the school’s secluded grottos and soak up some of the natural beauty. You walk slowly, hoping to find a flower you’ve never seen before or perhaps a new butterfly fluttering around a bloom, or even a beetle building a nest. Instead, you see a pair of bees dancing around a blooming bush (well away from you, fortunately) and a hummingbird feeding on the brightest purple flower you’ve ever seen.

A few steps later, you find just the thing you’re looking for: a single golden flower growing amidst a mass of grass and weeds, the plain surroundings only amplifying the flower’s sunny sheen.

Hard to say what exactly is the best option, but Flowers looks harmless enough, besides being the bluest option.

You lean over and inhale the heavenly aroma of the golden flower. You close your eyes and savor every moment of its divine fragrance, and when you open them, you are surprised to see a strange woman in a dark gray cloak standing over you.

Your heart is not ruled by greed. Only a charitable soul would bask in the sensual beauty of my flower. A greedy soul would have plucked me from the ground to satisfy its avarice.

You haven’t got the heart to tell her you were going to pluck the flower after you were done smelling it. You also aren’t completely sure what “avarice” means.

The strange woman, unaware of your true intentions, stretches out her beautiful, ashen hand and offers you a sparkling emerald.

Take this in good health, my child.

After you take the gem from her delicate (and somewhat moist) hand, the strange woman slowly disappears, taking her golden flower with her. Feeling a bit confused by the encounter, you nevertheless feel well rewarded for your prudence (and you resolve to look up the word “avarice” as soon as you can).

The Small Emerald has a few interesting properties, but the most interesting of them all is its 730 pim value. I’d say it’s about time for another shopping spree.

Ah, there we are. So let me explain: for the next segment in the Familiar adventure, Captain Felix will need to know some Strategy. Unfortunately, Iliana is unfamiliar with the skill, meaning she can’t train him in it. However, when we are this late into the game, there is an easy way to learn: pheme buffing. Phemes don’t automatically add the skills they can improve/reduce when you learn them, but once used, said skills will appear since their value changes.

So that’s what the Adanella’s Wardrobe is doing here: I added a Foresight pheme to boost Strategy and then added a couple Loyalty phemes for Dedication so I’d feel like I was doing something productive as regards Tacito’s adventure. I tried adding Foresight to Intense Focus, but it failed to work; the basic +5/-2 may work without a roll, but the bonus Insight+1 needs one, so not getting that was the only penalty to failing the boosted check.

After more antics and near escapes than you’d care to remember, the Five-Handed Tree has managed to sneak into the basement of the retirement home and, sure enough, you’ve found an old oaken chest with the name Mollers etched into the lid. The chest is locked up tight, but it’ll take more than a lock to discourage you.

Brute Strength is, once again, not Iliana’s thing.

You spread out and search through the towers of forgotten objects, the piles of lost mementos, and the crates of worthless tools. After nearly an hour of fruitless searching, Rui da Casga finally gets frustrated enough to kick one of the crates. It bruises his toe, but it also uncovers a key!

Luckily, no buffing was necessary for Composure.

You hurry over to the chest and shove the key into the lock. It fits! You fling back the lid to discover the chest full of…receipts? It would seem Grandpa Mollers has blown his stash, and on some pretty exotic things. Reading through some at random, you find purchases including a flying charm, a suit of armor, rock climbing gear, and a spot for minotaur wrestling at a rodeo.

Did the old guy just go insane at the end there or what?

Fortunately your hunt ended in time to watch the Imperial Processional. There may not be an empire any longer, but you’ve always loved a good parade. When you get to the right street, you can already hear the trumpets blaring and the soldiers’ marching boots clicking in time on the pavement. But the crowd is already so big you can hardly see over the people’s heads! Perhaps there’s a way you can get to the front of the crowd?

Enchantment isn’t quite certain and Glamour may be too disruptive, but Astrology is a sure thing.

You quietly take out your wand and draw a spell. You cross your fingers, too, figuring it couldn’t hurt.

Gradually, you notice the crowd shifting in front of you. Moving through the gaps, you wind up moving to the front faster than you could have hoped for if you’d elbowed your way through, and now you can see the guards marching right in front of you! You settle into your spot and enjoy the rest of the parade.

After Tacito gets a good look through the paper trail, hunting down Grandpa Mollers is child’s play. When you discover him, he’s in line for skydiving lessons.

As he explains, Mollers has recently been reminded that he will not live forever, and so he plans to live it up as much as possible before death can get the better of him. The old man didn’t inform his family because he knew they wouldn’t allow it out of concern either for his health or inheritance, depending on the descendant.

After consulting the rest of the ‘Tree, you find you are all in agreement: you shouldn’t rat out Grandpa Mollers just for wanting to have some fun before the last bell. But what exactly are you going to tell the Mollers family?

I’m not sure what happened here, but that Persuasion check has no roll attached to it, even though it’s an equally valid option to end the adventure and the rewards are virtually identical between the three choices (Conversation is a Chance of Success booster). Still, it’s not like Iliana is short on Persuasion, and it would’ve been at least red even if the check were at 20.

You might lie, but that could easily blow up in your face, so when you return to the Mollers, all you tell him is that he is safe and well. They inundate you with questions, but you carefully insist that you have no idea where he is, and only learned of his condition through a middleman, whom Grandpa Mollers hired when he discovered you were on his trail. It takes some convincing, and you’re reasonably sure at least one of them will try to hire someone else later, but they eventually accept your reassurances.

You feel good about letting the family know their patriarch is safe, and you don’t even have to worry about keeping any grand lies straight.

Hey, Iliana, that was a nice thing you did for old man Mollers.
Thanks. I just hope I can do that stuff when I’m that old.
Yeah, I know what you mean. That’s why I always keep active, so I never slow down! But the food here is so awful! It’s like the cooks forgot they’re feeding the future leaders of the school and instead decided to give us whatever they have left over from when they were students! Ugh!

You give a quiet chuckle at Vrenelle’s joke.

We need to do something about this. You’ve helped everyone else out in the ‘Tree now, so this is how you’ll be helping me. What do you say? I could even make it worth your while.

Another Aranaz adventure, another skill check to back out. It’s almost like the college is up to no good or something.

That’s certainly enough to get your attention. Vrenelle might not be up there with the lofty Catherine Chard, but the Bonvins are certainly one of the wealthiest families represented in the First Years. And besides, not only is she your friend, Vrenelle is right; the school food just plain stinks, and rather literally more often than not.

When can we start?

Vrenelle gives you a lopsided grin and begins to explain what she has in mind.

I’m really not sure this is a good idea.
Neither am I, but that’s never stopped us before.
And I’m sure this will be a great idea. I don’t know anybody who’s been up into the Tower of the Cold Forge, and if the time freeze spell really is weakening…
We can find something valuable in there and become famous.
Were you listening to Rui at all? Whatever is in the Tower of the Cold Forge was trapped there by the spell, not hidden away.
Then we’ll stop it or restore the wards and become heroes. And don’t worry so much, Tacito, you think the professors won’t be looking out for us? After all, they’re the ones who warned Rui not to go in the first place. They have to know that was practically an invitation. Now quit complaining, we’re already at the Vernin campus.

The signs warning you to stay out of the Tower of the Cold Forge are posted in every major language as well as several dead ones. The ink on some signs is fresh enough that you can tell it’s been repainted within the last few years, which in itself tells you that even the groundskeepers must be aware of the Time Slip spell’s deterioration. Still, it’s just a little exploration, right? You don’t have to go all the way up to the top, at least not just yet. Just a quick look around, enough to confirm whether the spell really has weakened. Keeping this in mind, you make a quick light spell at the end of your wand and move forward.

You feel a slight tingle as you pass over the threshold separating the Tower from the rest of the Vernin campus.

Feel that? Think it might have been that Time Slip spell working itself on us?
But wouldn’t we know it if we were?
But how could you?

You all turn in surprise to see an additional occupant in the room. The ghost is somewhat short, and quite plainly hovering several inches off the floor.

Of course, I didn’t need to listen in. You may be interested to know that ghosts can experience your thoughts when you inhabit the same space. It’s not quite like reading your mind, but it’s close enough to add one more reason for mortals to fear ghosts. But I digress.
To return to my point, you are in the grip of the Time Slip spell. The question you now should answer is “how long will I remain in it?” Others have come before you. Not all of them answered wisely. Some of them are still here, and have been our guests for a very, very long time. So think this over carefully: how long do you wish to stay?

Your mouth works silently as you think of and discard various answers. Fortunately, Tacito finds the right one.

As long as we want to be, and no longer.
Good answer. Some say they want to stay until they clear the tower, and then can’t leave for rest or supplies. Cowards demand to get out and can never return. True sons of Vernin, though, are ones who know to stay as long as they want, take what they want, leave when they want.
But…I’m in Hedi.
No matter. The spirit of ancient kings is not limited by the names we give our dorm buildings.

The ghost extends a finger and draws a pheme in the air before you; the symbol pulses and glows in the darkness.

This is the Time pheme. It is one half of the Time Push spell. Time Push negates Time Slip, but only for a short time, and only in a small area. I will teach you the other pheme and the spell itself, but you must answer a second question: what is Time?

A tricky question, but one I think Iliana would prefer to impress the ghost with rather than play with it.

Silently thanking Professor Sido for making Time the subject of one of his lectures, you begin.

How do you define something without defining that which surrounds it? Better, how can you define something which is so often defined by itself? “Time is as time does,” as some describe it, or, “Time is noted by its effects rather than its passage.” But that kind of thinking is just a crutch for the feebleminded and should be avoided. Rather than state that time has been defined, we should all revel in the fact that time has yet to be defined, and perhaps never can, thus giving philosophers an opportunity to stretch our boundaries and our minds.

The ghost gives you an appraising look.

You would have fit in well with the former inhabitants of this tower. I will look forward to your progress. The second pheme of the Time Push spell is the Acoustic pheme. You draw it so:

The ghost draws out the Acoustic pheme in the same manner as the Time pheme. Both now glow in the middle of the room, but the connections of the spell have not yet been drawn.

Now walk through me, return to your dorms, and by the time you arrive, you will all know the Time Push spell. Return only when you have mastered it.

You’re a bit irritated at the thought of having to go all the way back home just to learn the spell, but you line up and do as the ghost instructed. You feel a slight resistance and a cold chill as you pass through the spirit, but you feel nothing special in your mind even as you separate and go back to your colleges. However, when you cross the front door and enter the Aranaz campus, you feel a sudden rush of memories and thoughts, out of which crystalizes the Time Push spell. Funny, it’s like you’ve always known the spell, but you’ve only now just thought to remember it. Reviewing the tracings, you realize the Time Push spell is really quite simple.

Watching your friends’ expressions of wonder, it would seem the same thing has happened to them. Looks like the Tower of the Cold Forge is open for exploration…

You’re walking down to dinner, feeling pretty full of yourself, when suddenly you realize your lips are feeling a bit too full. And they’re still growing! Panicking, you reach for your wand, but it slips right out of your swelling hands, already too thick to grip! Thankfully none of your other body parts seem to be expanding, but this presents more than enough problems as it is.

A gloating Philippe Marchant takes the time to step out from the bushes he was hiding behind to say:

That’s for Thursday!

That said, he runs off before you can think of anything to do to him. Fortunately, the rate of swelling seems to be decreasing at this point, although your hands and lips are now easily four or five times the size they ought to be. You force yourself to calm down and take a few deep breaths, then you spend some time trying to pick up your wand between your two numb, inflated hands. Next stop will have to be the nurse’s.

Meanwhile, along a certain corridor, Tacito is pacing nervously.

“Hi there, Iliana, I was thinking maybe since you and I solved that case together that we could”—no, I’ve got to be more forceful. She respects that. “Iliana, hi. Now that we’ve solved that case together I figured”— Oh, Iliana! Hi! Are…what happened to you?!
Iff mah mough! Fiweep cuwst mah mough!
Sorry? I’m not quite sure I—

Just then, Carmine comes up behind you.

Oh, hello there, Iliana, Tacito. I was—dear gods, what happened?! Hold on, let me just fix this.

Without wasting a moment, Carmine pulls out his wand and slashes out a Negation spell. Within moments, the unbearable pressure on your face and hands relents, and with some joy you watch your body parts return to their normal sizes.

Thank you so much, Carmine!
No problem, but now you owe me one. So who did you get mad?
Philippe, of course. Although to be honest, I kind of deserved it for what I did to him first.
Really? You’ll have to tell me all about it, then. Why don’t we go to the Roses of Coventia to talk about it?
The Roses? I thought First Years weren’t supposed to date.
Well, let’s just call it a…a meeting between allies.
Fine. But I’m paying for dinner, and then we’re even, got it? Now let’s go back to Aranaz first, I need to get cleaned up.
“But of course, madame, you zhould be your cleenezt for zhe ball.”

As you and Carmine walk back to Aranaz arm in arm, you think you hear someone speak in the distance:

SON of a—

Gains of the Week

Orthography increased by 1.
--Expand Charge spell learned.
Courtly Fashion increased by 1.
--Chaos pheme learned.
Successful adventure!
--Etiquette increased by 1 step.
----Relationship maximum with (someone? didn’t say) increased by 1.

The Middle Empire increased by 1.
--The Middle Empire skill maxed!
--The Calamities skill maximum increased by 1.
--History increased by 1.
----History skill maxed!
----Methods of the Masters ability learned.
Successful adventure!
--Logic increased by 1 step.

Handled Familiar.
--Cpt. Felix’s Climb increased by 4 separate steps.
Successful adventure!
--Palettes increased by 1 step.
--Revision Spells increased by 1 step.

Artisan increased by 1.
--Luken Sigal’s Orderable Goods, Catalog available.
The Early Empire increased by 1.
--The Early Empire skill maxed!
--Expansion pheme learned.
Successful adventure!
--Interrogation increased by 2 steps.
----Subtlety pheme learned.
Successful event!
--Manipulation increased by 2 steps.

Handled Familiar.
--Cpt. Felix’s Move Silently increased by 3 separate steps.
--Cpt. Felix’s Climb increased by 1 step.
Successful adventure!
--Bond of Iron increased by 1 step.
--Cpt. Felix’s Climb increased by 1 step.
----Learned about the Elumian Tree.
Matched Wits with the Emperor’s Sphinx.
--Dance increased by 1 step.
----Art increased by 1 step.
--Dedication increased by 1 step.
----Fear pheme learned.
--Climb increased by 1 step.
--Theory of Astrology increased by 1 step.
----Seasons pheme learned.
Successful holiday!
--Manipulation increased by 1 step.
Malacresta and Aveline used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 279.
Irene Oxina failed to use Encourage Fellow Student.
Morvidus wins again.

Famous Dilemmas increased by 1.
--Famous Dilemmas skill maxed!
--Learned about Chauranglaith Path: Cave.
Cast Intense Focus.
--Plus 5 to Dedication.
--Minus 2 to The Middle Empire and Wrestling.
Successful event!
--Gained one Emerald, Small.

Cast Adanella’s Wardrobe.
--Plus 1 to Planning.
--Plus 1 to Strategy.
--Plus 2 to Dedication.
--Plus 2 to Befriend.
--Plus 1 to Courtly Fashion.
--Plus 1 to Confidence.
--Plus 1 to Aesthetics.
Handled Familiar.
--Cpt. Felix’s Move Silently increased by 2 separate steps.
--Cpt. Felix’s Intimidation increased by 2 separate steps.
Successful adventure!
--Sleuthing increased by 2 steps.
----Dialectic increased by 1.
Vrenelle and Aymeri used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 285.
Successful event!
--Passion increased by 1 step.

Successful adventure!
--Persuasion cannot be increased.
--Storytelling increased by 2 steps.
----Relationship with Carmine Sturzo increased to 6.
--Charm increased by 1.
Successful adventure!
--Relationship with Vrenelle Bonvin increased to 8.
Successful adventure!
--Time pheme learned.
--Acoustic pheme learned.
--First Principles increased by 1 step.
Aveline used Compete; Aranaz merit now at 288.
Philippe Marchant used Bully; Stress increased by 3.
--High Stress! You are now feeling Alert: +2 Observation and Danger Sense.
Carmine Sturzo used Externalized Desire.
--Relationship with Carmine Sturzo increased to 7.

New Abilities

Expand Charge (Spell): Finesse/Revision v20; +1 charge on expendable item (up to item’s max).
Methods of the Masters (Permanent): +1 to Incantation, Glamour, Negation, Revision, and Astrology.
Visit the Bell Tower Interior: +1 step in Clockwork, Flawless Timing, and random Patrol skill.
Study the Elumian Tree: +1 step to Climb, Famous Poetry, and random Grammar skill.