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Ch. 1: Altsoba School of Sorcery

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by BrookeDi, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. romamaro

    romamaro Well-Known Member

    Elpida Smith
    Forcing herself to focus on the situation on hand, and not on the mysterious letter, Elpida chuckled a little at Eva's apologies. "It's cool, don't worry about it," she reassured the girl. "We've all got schoolwork!" While the potion-making was a little more intrusive than Elpida's hobbies would be, she hoped that by not minding, they wouldn't mind her guitar. The roommates would soon enough discover that Elpida had no problems with staying up late to practise. She had the decency, at least, to keep quiet, and it had only been a problem the previous year because she shared a room with someone. She had her own space now, so there definitely shouldn't have been a problem.

    Her attention was drawn away from the cauldron by the appearance of another roommate. It took Elpida a moment, where she furrowed her eyebrows at the girl and chewed the inside of her cheek, but she visibly relaxed when she remembered her name. She lifted one hand in greeting, flashing white teeth in a small smile. "Hey!" she said back, shuffling along on the couch to make room for the blonde. "Petra, yeah?"

    Though she was used to people judging her for her strange sitting habits, people didn't usually ask. No one had ever seemed worried about it, and Petra's concern made Elpida smile amusedly. "See, on a lot of normal chairs it does end up hurting," she began. She tucked her hands under her knee and adjusted her leg a little, continuing, "but since this is soft," she patted the armrest, "I could probably sit like this forever!" "I can't ever get comfy in class. It sucks!" As she complained, she emphasised just how much she hated the class seating conditions by tipping her head back, stretching the 'sucks' out into a groan. The roommates would quickly start to see just how dramatic Elpida could really be.

    Castor Sternberg
    As he unpacked, Castor found that he was humming to himself. He was pretty absentminded, and usually didn't notice when he was doing something like that, but didn't make any attempt to stop it. If there were other people around, he definitely would have, but this was his room, and his space, and he could do just about whatever he wanted to do in it, he reckoned. He hummed the songs that had been on the radio, and he hummed his nan's favourite tunes, and he didn't stop humming until he had totally unpacked.

    The room was neat and organised - at least, for now - and Castor turned to the final big trunk. For his birthday, his nan and his mom had apparently pooled their money together and bought him one of those swanky, top-of-the-line telescopes. With a cheeky wink, his nan hinted that he'd be able to make it even better if he used his head. Smiling at the memory, he went about unpacking the telescope. He had it set up fairly quickly, but it was too bright to be able to test properly. He could just stay up a little later and give it a whirl. He was still humming, until his room door crashed open.

    All his dreams of peaceful roommates were thoroughly crushed by the appearance of this boy. He was a fair bit taller than Castor, and his broad shoulders made Castor feel so much more scrawny. He wore an open-sided tank top, the short sleeves revealing arms that were easily the size of Castor’s head. Castor felt his face flush, right to his ears, and he stammered for a second before the boy broke the ice.

    “Hey!” he shouted, voice like booming thunder. “I’m Chad-Bradley. Wicked name, I know! Castor’s pretty cool too, though.” As he spoke, he crossed the room in just a few large steps. He was more intimidating up close; his skin was naturally tanned and freckled, his jawline could cut steel, and he was drop-dead gorgeous. Castor thought he knew his type, but he was pretty sure that even if he was straight he would still be totally useless right now. He averted his gaze to the floor, spluttering a quiet “th-thanks,” seriously hoping that Chad-Bradley would do something super unforgivable that would kill anything attractive about him.

    Clearly able to tell how uncomfortable Castor was, Chad-Bradley turned his attention to the room. “Nice place,” he commented, idly wandering to the window where Castor had just set up the telescope. “You take Astronomy?” Not meaning any harm, he reached out and turned the telescope on its stand.

    Castor watched his life flash before his eyes. “D-don’t touch that!” he spluttered, flying across the room to put a steadying hand on the telescope. “P-please, it- it’s really- it’s really very- it’s very, very valuable, so could you please let go of it, please?”

    He had to give him credit; as soon as Castor asked, Chad-Bradley let go of the telescope. “Woah! Sorry, dude, I didn’t know it meant so much to you.” His voice was unbelievably loud - you could have probably heard it miles away. Castor couldn’t quite tell if he was being serious or making fun of him, and when he glanced up to meet the boy’s eyes he only saw that malicious amusement he knew well. He averted his eyes again, face flushing once more. He was bracing himself for the teasing, and prayed that one of the other roommates would appear.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
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  2. will30358

    will30358 The Tsuki Royale

    Twilight quickly tried to assess what to make of her apparent roommate. They were the same age, of course, but she was quite a fair bit taller than her.... which wasn't exactly something she was proud of. Nonetheless, Twilight saw her as someone who probably wouldn't make that much of an influence in her daily life. She looked completely average. Of course... she couldn't tell her that. Twilight's first job was to study, but as it so happened, they hadn't been given anything to learn yet, so... she supposed small talk was what she had to do. Maybe I can see this as a sort of training and prep, Twilight said with a slight smirk. Socializing with Others. I swear by the gods, that needs to be a real thing.

    Twilight twirled her moderately long hair a little, trying to decide what to say. Introduce herself first, or ask the girl's name? Her name is... Natalie? That's close enough, I hope... don't want to seem two persistent, now. I'll just slowly and coolly, make a stunning first impression... "HellomynameisTwilightGrahmnicetomeetyou!" Twilight quickly blurted out before looking down. Dammit, she thought. This is harder than I thought.
     
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  3. KTallent

    KTallent Member

    Arthur sat up as he heard commotion outside his room. Someone was being... very loud. Arthur slid his legs off the bed and stood up, quietly walking to the doorframe to see if he could see what was going on. The common area looked the same as it had when he first arrived, a table, some chairs, and the like. It seemed that the racket was coming from inside one of the other rooms.

    Arthur walked across the common area to poke his head into his roommate's room. The door was open, so it wasn't as if he was violating any privacy requirements. Just a quick peek, to see what the noise was all about.

    What Arthur saw, walking under (but not past) the doorframe, was not at all what he'd expected. A buff, movie star looking boy was staring down someone who, if the boy was a movie star, would be the nerd that the movie star stared down. Arthur glanced around the room for a split second. A fancy, easily hundreds of dollars telescope caught his eye and practically made him drool, making him want to befriend its owner if only to use the telescope just once. It looked amazing.

    But he wouldn't be able to use the telescope unless he rescued its owner, who Arthur was almost positive was the small, curly haired boy being stared down. Arthur cleared his throat loudly, leaning against the doorframe. Might as well make a nice impression. If only his ginger hair wasn't beginning to fall into his face and his clothing wasn't rumpled. Then again, he was taller than the movie star guy, which he felt was a slight advantage.

    "Who's room is this?" He asked politely, although he was almost positive he knew the answer. The buff movie star guy didn't look like a -- Arthur glanced at the door -- Castor. Or someone who would be interested in astronomy, at least. "I just wanted to make sure everything is alright. It seemed like someone was fighting. Are you?" Arthur's voice sounded almost sing-song due to his Welsh accent, but his face was deadly serious. He didn't want fighting -- or whatever had been going on -- on the very first day. If anything, the noise level had been almost uncomfortable. He would shut down whatever was happening, at least for the sake of Probably-Castor, who was flushed and looked as if he might fall over -- from sheer terror or something else, Arthur wasn't sure.
     
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  4. romamaro

    romamaro Well-Known Member

    Castor Sternberg
    As he desperately avoided eye contact, Castor found his eyes drawn to the door frame. It took him a moment to process who it was, but as soon as he caught the ginger hair glinting in the sunlight, a name jumped to the front of his mind: Arthur. Castor didn't really know much about him—they'd shared a few classes, that was just about it—but he probably would have recognised him anywhere. His distinct accent bled through into his cough, which was what caught Chad-Bradley's attention. Snapping back to the amicable persona he'd shown in the beginning, he smiled at the Welsh boy with straight, white teeth.

    "Nah! No fighting goin' on here. I was just tellin' Castor how sick the telescope is." He prodded it with a large finger, and Castor's skin crawled. He opened his mouth to plead again for Chad-Bradley to please not touch the telescope, but the words froze in his throat. He stuttered for a second, face going redder somehow, and eventually his gaze dropped to the floor and he stopped trying. Chad-Bradley huffed, almost sounding like a horse, and punched Castor in the shoulder. Castor was pretty sure it wasn't meant aggressively, but it was just a little too hard for him to be sure. "Nah. No fighting," the tanned boy repeated.

    A small beep came from the pocket of his cargo shorts, and Chad-Bradley pulled out his wand, the tip of it glowing faintly. "My friends are looking for me. I'll see you guys around, yeah?" He punched Castor once more in the shoulder, and as he left he did the same to Arthur. He slammed the dormitory door as he left.

    Castor breathed a sign of relief, his hand reaching up to massage his shoulder. That was gonna bruise. His eyes flitted from Arthur, to the floor, to his telescope. He turned to the apparatus, making a few tiny adjustments. Without the burden of eye contact, it was easier to mumble "thanks," to Arthur.
     
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  5. KTallent

    KTallent Member

    Arthur grimaced as Movie Star Dude left, frowning at his back for the split second he was still in Arthur's line of sight. Then he reached up to gently press his shoulder where Movie Star Dude had punched him, his frown deepening. That definitely hurt. Normally, he would have brushed Movie Star Dude's rudeness off and just avoided him in classes, but they were stuck in the same dormitory together so there was only so much avoiding he could do. What a wonderful start to the new year. One rude dorm mate, one increasingly awkward one, and one he hadn't yet laid eyes on. Arthur highly doubted it would be a quiet year with this bunch. Then again, quiet could easily become boring. And Arthur was saying that as someone who normally spent his time alone, which meant he had firsthand experience.

    Arthur turned to look at Probably-Castor as he fiddled with the telescope. "It was nothing," Arthur replied, a smile on his face. "He was hassling you, and he was annoying me even from the other room." Arthur paused, wondering if he should just go back to his own room. No, he thought, it's about time for me to make more friends.

    "You telescope is possibly one of the coolest pieces of astronomy equipment I've ever seen. Have you had it a while?" Arthur pushed some ginger hair out of his face and adjusted on the doorframe, silently cursing both his lankiness and his accent. He hadn't been invited in and the couches in the common area were too far away, so leaning on the doorframe it was. And he couldn't help his accent, preferring quick, fluid speech over a voice that blended in. He would always stand out from the crowd in some way or another, it was just how he was.
     
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  6. BrookeDi

    BrookeDi Well-Known Member Staff Member Benefactor Warden

    Natalia Bebnev
    The redhead raised a brow at her roommate as she introduced herself in a rush. She wanted to ask why the other girl's parents had named her after a book the mundane children are obsessed with, but her parents had instilled better manners in her than that, and she was too used to playing the game at this point to allow such a blurt. Natalia cleared her throat. "Nice to meet you as well..." She tapped her fingers on the door frame, waiting to see if that was all Twilight had wanted, and when she said nothing further, the Russian turned around. "I have some unpacking to do, so maybe we can do this roommate bonding thing... not now?" She glanced at the other girl over her shoulder as she opened her suitcase, removing each piece of neatly folded clothes with careful hands. She took each article of clothing, straightened out the folds, and tucked it away into her drawer, making sure it was impeccable before moving on to the next item of clothing. Sure, she could unpack with magic, but you didn't get it neatly organized when you did it that way. As much as she loved using magic, there were some things Natalia felt she had to do herself.

    Petra Kraus
    She smiled back at Elpida, nodding in confirmation at her name. Eva mumbled something unconvincing about, "Yeah... schoolwork."

    Petra idly began twirling her wand between her fingers (which was probably a dangerous activity and was certainly a bad habit that she hardly realized anymore) as she talked with the other two. She giggled at Elpida's dramatics, nodding in agreement. "I think that's kind of the point. If we're too comfortable, it would be too easy to fall asleep in some classes." She shrugged.

    Eva was focused at this point, and so only gave the pair an amused grin at their conversation. A few minutes later she let out a breath as the potion went to a simmer and then the boiling stopped. It was finished. With a few waves of her wand and carefully muttered words, the potion began separating into little bottles and her supplies began packing themselves away. "So," Eva fell into the nearest chair, pushing her hair out of her eyes. "When do you thin our other roommate will join us?"
     
  7. romamaro

    romamaro Well-Known Member

    Elpida Smith
    "Yeah, but if you're flat out uncomfy, then you're gonna get cranky!" Elpida pointed out. "And the teachers definitely don't like cranky students, yeah? So, it'd be so much better if they just gave us comfy chairs!" Her body became animated as she spoke, gesturing wildly with her hands. This was clearly a subject that she had thought about a lot—likely during class, when she couldn't get comfy.

    Hearing the faint bubbling from the cauldron fade, Elpida's attention turned to the potion. She craned her neck around to see into it, but she couldn't have told you the difference between a cordial and an elixir, and she didn't have the faintest clue about whatever was going on in that pot. Losing interest, her gaze wandered around the room, falling on the still-closed door. As she opened her mouth to wonder aloud if there was anyone inside, Eva beat her to it.

    She eyed the door, biting her lip as she tried to picture 'Tahliya'. She remembered blonde hair, and a foreign-sounding second name that always made Elpida feel more comfortable. "Couldn't say," she said with a shrug. "If she doesn't turn up, I'm getting her room," she joked, snickering.

    Castor Sternberg
    Castor had assumed that Arthur had only come in because the noise had been bothering him. He hadn't expected him to stick around once it had calmed down. Feeling him linger in the doorway, he glanced at him, forcing himself to make eye contact. In the lull, his shoulders tensed again. What if this was a 'wolf in sheep's clothing' situation? What if Arthur was worse than Chad-Bradley? What if—

    Despite not actually being frightened, he still jumped when Arthur spoke. However, he visibly relaxed when he realised that the topic of conversation was his telescope. A smile, small but genuine spread across his face, dimpling his cheeks. "No...no, it's new," he said, "my...my birthday...it was just a few days ago, so, so, it was a gift. For, for then." He ran his thumb down the body of the telescope, the shiny, cherry wood body glistening in the faint sunlight. "It's...pretty," he admitted, admiring the brass metal lining, "but...I think my nan wants me to...to make it better. I don't...I don't really know how good it actually is, you know?"

    He glanced back to Arthur, and tested the waters, gingerly saying, "are...are you interested? In, in astronomy, I mean."
     
  8. BrookeDi

    BrookeDi Well-Known Member Staff Member Benefactor Warden

    Eventually, everyone made their way to their respective rooms. Some people were thrilled to find that they were rooming with friends; others were relieved to find that they were rooming with virtual strangers. Whatever their emotions, the rooming situation was worked out, and students spent the remaining afternoon getting to know their roommates, catching up with old friends, or enjoying other school amenities.

    That evening, though, quite a few students were sneaking around the castle. They took different routes, but most of them had the same destination: The West Wing Basement.

    The school had a number of basements in the building. The West Wing Basement held the potions classroom as well as a storm shelter. Upon arrival, the invitees were greeted by a rather bulky looking Grade 12 Student (he made Chad-Bradley look incredibly scrawny by comparison). He was friendly, though giving each nervous looking member a cheerful smile as he waved his wand over their hands. If they had touched the invitation, their fingers would sparkle gold and he'd allow them through the doorway.

    As each person passed through the doorway, they were sprayed with a rather intense burst of air that startled quite a few people. As far as they could tell it didn't do anything aside from providing them with a little wind, but those who were willing to put a little more thought into it might realize that it was likely a spell of some sort. Whatever was going on here, they were taking extreme measures to keep secrecy.

    Natalia went through the process with a practiced aloof expression on her face (and she'll deny, vehemently, that the burst of air had caused her to jump). Once inside, she glanced around taking in the other individuals who were in the room. There was a line of chairs and on the back of each chair, a name. She scanned the chairs until she located her name, but since no one else was sitting, she waited. At the front of the room, in a small huddle were older students. Natalia recognized a couple of them, but she couldn't recall their names. It would be clear to anyone paying enough attention that they were the ones who had extended the invitation. They were matching robes, the inside lined with gold rather than a gift color.

    At midnight, the one standing guard outside stepped inside, shutting the door behind him. He cast a quick spell. Anyone who didn't make it by 11:59 would not be making it through the door. The room was filled with quiet murmurs as students tried to guess what was happening, but it was quickly interrupted by someone from the front of the room clearing their throat. At the sound, the noise died down and a few students exchanged nervous glances. "Please take your seat," one of the Grade 12 students said, her tone warm. There was a moment's hesitation and a quick shuffle while everyone found their seats. One seat remained empty and the student who had been standing guard quickly came and pulled the chair off to the side. The students at the front formed into a line of 6.

    Standing from right to left Kimberly Garcia, a short but very energetic earth student. Herman Alvarez, about average height and average weight, not very well known outside of his small group of friends. Raymond Parker, taller than average and tends to hang out with the popular crowd. Victor Pike, a seemingly lazy and carefree individual, to those that know him. Victoria Anderson, a quiet back-of-the-room kind of gal in class. Last is Delphine Ellis, known for experimenting with potions and being a little eccentric. As they stepped into the light a figure from the back of the room to stand next to Delphine, dropping his hood: Kevin James, a nerdy looking guy with a pair of square spectacles sliding down his nose. He'll adjust them and peer at the gathered potential initiates.

    In the middle, Victor would speak while the rest spread out and found somewhere along the wall to lean. He'd give the gathered group a cheery grin and a wave. "We've gathered you here today, to take part in a time honored tradition of Altsoba. Since you started school here, members of our group have... noticed each of you for one reason or another. Those observations have led us to believe that you would be good for Vitam et Mortem, a secret society that was started here at Altsoba and has since grown all over the world. Now, when I first sat where you are," he'd pause to make eye contact with each of them, Eva shifting nervously under the gaze. "I was skeptical, at best. But VeM is an organization that can help determine the course of your future. Should you choose to remain, you'll find that there are VeM members in places you'd never suspect. CEOs, in the White House, in Congress. Just by being a member, you've cemented a measure of certainty that you have a future. Trouble getting into college? You can get a call from an influential VeM member and voíla, you're in. Being in Vitam et Mortem guarantees you friends and connections for life."

    He'd pause to let that sink in before continuing, "Now, if this is not something you're interested in. You're free to leave now, though your memory of being here and all that I have said will be removed by our Vice President, Victoria." He'd indicate the same student who had waved them in, ready to lift the charm from the door to let them exit. "No harm, no foul." He'd encourage, "but if you'd like to learn more, if you like power and knowledge and if you are willing to prove yourself, remain seated."
     
  9. Ailis

    Ailis resident chicken nugget

    Stephy looked quite disheveled, to say the least, as she ran down the hall just to make it to the meeting on time. Her red hair was flat on one side of her head, and fluffy and tangled on the other; all the evidence you would need to determine that she had fallen asleep before the meeting. The only reason she had even made it out of bed in time was because her mother, knowing that her daughter had a propensity for falling asleep and missing important events, had taught her a charm to turn any household object into an alarm clock, and so the loud croaking of the puff-rog poster hanging behind her bed, the various noises of all her stuffed animals... and her pillow screeching directly into her ear was able to rouse her from her slumber.

    She walked through the rather ominous doorway after having her finger tips checked, which confused her a bit but she chose not to question it, and nearly ran right back out of the room when a burst of air hit her. The antsy, post-nap sorceress managed to compose herself, and took her place standing among the others. She didn't speak to any of the others, surprisingly, her brain too busy taking in everything around her to even attempt conversation, and she took her seat when the boy at the front instructed them to do so. Her leg twitched with anxiety as the students at the front began removing their hoods. Why were they even wearing hoods in the first place? She narrowed her eyes, trying to focus on each and every face in front of her through the dim lighting.

    Once the nerdy looking guy began to talk, she relaxed a little bit. Nerdy guys can't be that evil, right? Oh, he just made eye contact with her. He must be a mind reader. Her face flushed bright pink, but hopefully the lighting, or lack thereof, concealed it.

    "-remain seated." To be honest, Stephy's tired brain decided to just give up while this guy was talking, and anything he said went straight over her head, all of it except for his last to words. Naturally, Stephy decided to listen and remain seated. She wasn't exactly sure why she had to remain seated, but sure, why not.
     
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  10. Angel2Mars

    Angel2Mars Crazy Cat Lady

    Annemarie

    As she was hanging posters of her favorite magical beasts and movie actors, Annemarie heard doors opening and closing from the suite and other rooms. She would go and greet her suite-mates in a little bit, but for now, she was content to be decorating her room. The colors she had chosen for this year's room were teal and pink which gave it an airy look that she especially liked despite being quite the Fauna mage. She was just straightening her new comforter on the cot when she heard a shriek from next door. Poet, the kitten, leaped into the air, fur standing on end, and the tiniest hiss and spit emitting from his teeny mouth. Both Annemarie and the kitten raced from the room to see what had happened. When they arrived at Aoife's room, the smoke had already cleared and nothing seemed the matter.

    "Everything okay in here?" Annemarie stood in the doorway, concern knitting her brows together. "I'm Annemarie, and this is Poet.." she indicated the kitten who scampered in and instantly began twining around and around Aoife's ankles.
    ________

    Later that night, Annemarie, dressed in a dark mauve dress (the darkest color she owned) and her cloak, slipped out of her room and down the hallway toward the basement. She wasn't nervous, she told herself, as she held her hand out for the huge twelfth grader to check. She was surprised to find her fingers branded with gold dust that she swore had not been there before. She gave a slight smile to the boy before entering the room. The burst of air made her startle, but she made not a sound to show the surprise, merely a slight jump, before she followed the person in front of her. Was that Stephy?

    She took her seat next to Stephy but did not say a word to her suite-mate. Would Sawyer be invited here? She hoped so, but she kind of doubted it. He had a big mouth and a lot of big personality sass that she felt this group wouldn't put up with.


    Sawyer

    Sawyer finally made it to his room, last as usual due to his social nature. He would much rather hang out with friends than be bothered to set up his room right away. Plus, he did not know either of his roommates. Not that that was much of a deterrent for one such as he. When he did make it to his room, he simply stuck his head into each of the other rooms to say a quick hello and introduce himself, then entered his own. With a wave of his wand, everything floated out and the room decorated itself. There were wigs of real hair on Styrofoam heads, an open caboodle of theatre makeup, a trunk of hand-sewn costumes. The walls wallpapered in signed Broadway musical and play posters. The quilt on his bed was the plainest thing in the room as a solid black to offset all the color everywhere else. He was obviously a kid who was comfortable in his own person.
     
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  11. Yun Lee

    Yun Lee Soaring White Dragon Staff Member Administrator The Convergence Series GM

    Vitam et Mortem.

    Just hearing the name sent a chill down Destiny's spine, exciting her to no end. What had they possibly seen in her to have her join? Probably her family name, in all honesty. A part of her did hope that wasn't the case, though; being recognized on her own merit would have been far more thrilling.

    But no matter what, Destiny was here, and she absolutely was not going to leave. To be a member of VeM would be wonderful, not because of the connections or whatever else; but because it meant that, no matter where she went or what she did, Destiny would have something that she usually didn't: friends. Destiny didn't mind being a loner. In fact, she preferred it. Being alone with nothing but nature and the outdoors...it beat city life hands down. But everyone gets lonely once in a while, even a girl like her. It'd be nice to not be alone. And hey, just about all her roommates were here. This would be a great way to get to know them, yeah?​
     
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  12. romamaro

    romamaro Well-Known Member

    Castor Sternberg
    Castor was glad to meet Arthur; it showed him that his room situation might not be as bad as it had seemed. They didn't chat for long, but it was just long enough to reassure Castor on the chances of having a good year. When left alone, he spent the rest of the day hanging up posters of the sky and arranging his desk in just the right way so that it would look like he was studying a lot, at a glance.

    That evening, Castor waited for it to get dark. He discovered that he had a great room for the sky; there was a clear view, and whatever rooms that were next to him had switched their lights off early. The sky spread out in front of him, a vast sea of tiny lights.

    Time to test that telescope.

    He set up his stool, adjusted the height until it was right at the eyepiece. His notebook open in his lap, he peered through the glass...and saw nothing. Frowning, he adjusted the telescope again and again, and nothing changed.

    It took him a few anxious, slow, fearful hours to carefully take the telescope apart. When he finally did, he discovered that someone had slipped a piece of black fabric over the inside of the eyepiece, and fastened it with either super glue...or a spell.

    Castor remembered his nan's wink, her suggestion that he 'improve' the telescope. He swore under his breath, but couldn't stop the grin that spread across his face.

    That old woman was going to be the death of him.

    Elpida Smith

    Elpida spent the entire day on the alert, always ready. Her scalp constantly prickled with the paranoia of being watched, but she never was. Of course she wasn't.

    When the time came, she dressed in black leggings, a tank top and a hoodie, knowing that the hood would help hide her face from anyone that didn't look really hard. She made the decision to go just in socks, since the route she was going to take was relatively popular if you wanted to sneak out, and could use all the help she could get to be quiet; plus, her brother recommended it. Pulling the hood up over her head, she started the journey from her room to the west wing basement.

    She sprinted the whole way, almost slipping on the smoother floors. She was glad that she'd kept up cardio over the summer, as she arrived not totally exhausted. Taking a moment to smooth down her hair, she turned the corner and was faced with what she could only describe as a bouncer.

    Putting on her serious face—the face she put on when her brothers' friends tried to tease her, or flirt with her—she walked up to him. "I'm here for VeM." She said it with such confidence that you would actually believe she already knew everything about it. The brawny boy just smiled, nodded, and waved his wand over her hands. Her serious composure cracked, and she tilted her head like a curious puppy at her sparkling fingers. Glancing back up, he nodded at her to enter. Hoping that it hadn't been a curse, she walked through the doorway.

    Despite having taken the time to make sure her hair looked okay, it was ruined by the blast of air. Gasping, she froze for a moment until the wind stopped. That could have definitely been a curse. Not wanting to think about what the outcome would be if it was, she kept on walking until she came into the next room.

    Hovering near the edge of the room, Elpida carefully eyed both the cluster of older students, and the other people who were clearly in for the same ride as her. As much as she recognised everyone there, she didn't know any of them. She didn't have much time to think about it, as a few more people rushed into the room, and then they all had to sit.

    She didn't realise she was on the edge of the row until the bouncer took away the seat next to her. She instantly felt more vulnerable. In an attempt to hide this, she crossed her arms over her chest, watching the upperclassmen carefully. She listened to Kevin's pitch intently, picking up on every word as if it was meant just for her. The pieces started to click together in her mind.

    Up until this point, music had just been something that Elpida loved. She loved it with all her heart, but she knew that, in the end, she couldn't make a career out of it. It just wasn't possible, unless you had some connections.

    Which she would have, now.

    The grin practically split her face. This was it. This was what her life had been leading up to; this one moment. This was the turning point.

    She was staying.
     
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  13. KTallent

    KTallent Member

    Arthur was probably the most sceptical person in the room. Of course he had come, he wanted to know what this mysterious group was, but he wasn't sure what they really did and he wasn't sure he liked what he was hearing. He knew some of the students in VeM in passing, they were polite and kind people, but that wasn't enough to sway him. He wanted to know what they really did, not just hear them blab on about how they were everywhere and how they could help people achieve the life they wanted due to their connections and pull in the world. It sounded fishy down to the last word.

    Arthur looked around as there was a lull in the nerdy Guy's speech. He knew a few of the people in the seats listening, but Elphida being there was a good sign. He trusted Elphida, knew she was a smart girl. She wouldn't be here if she thought this was a bad idea. That soothed Arthur's nerves a little, but not much. He still needed to trust his head, his heart, and his gut for this to be safe and work out. Good luck, me, he thought wryly, and what a start to the school year.
     
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  14. BrookeDi

    BrookeDi Well-Known Member Staff Member Benefactor Warden

    One kid started to rise from his seat like he was going to exit, but when no one else moved he quickly dropped back into his chair. Peer pressure is a powerful thing, despite no one exerting any pressure on him. The poor boy just wasn't sure if he'd be able to prove himself or not. Victor smiled as an assortment of expressions stared back at him. Quite a few looked confused; some looked sleepy. Others, like Natalia, looked determined.

    Victoria took over now. "I think you have all made the right choice in remaining. However, by the end of this, not all of you will be a member of Vitam et Mortem. You may have been noticed throughout your time at Altsoba, but now it is about proving yourself to be worthy of entry into this elite group. Proving yourself will not be easy, but the reward is incredibly worth every trial that you will endure." The rest of the members began handing out empty goblets, while another existing member poured a small amount (enough for one or two sips) white wine into each glass. "Tonight we welcome you to the start of your initiation. We drink in celebration of the commitment you have just made, and tomorrow?" She smiled, showing a row of pearly whites. "We shall see what tomorrow may bring."

    She'd raise her glass, waiting until the rest followed suit. "To our initiates!" The other members repeated the cheer, and they toasted one another as well as those sitting in the recruitment seats. Victoria will wait until everyone had finished their drink before she spoke again. "Now, a word of caution; don't speak about this with anyone you don't see here tonight." She'll pause to give them a moment to glance around, "And if you are talking it over with someone here, make sure you aren't overheard." She tapped her glass with one finger, a warning to anyone paying enough attention. "Now, go mingle for a few and then it's off to bed with the lot of you." She waved vaguely at them.

    The others immediately began to mingle with one another, a few introducing themselves or welcoming people they recognized. It was a very short meet and greet. If anyone happens to chat with Delphine, she may let slip that the wine they drank was also a potion; bad things will happen to those who speak about VeM.


    Natalia
    An hour after entering the basement, the students were soon slipping back to the rooms a little at a time. When Natalia made it back to her room, she wanted to reply the night in her mind, looking for anything that might help her in whatever competitions were to come. She figured, however, that tomorrow might have more in store than simply attending classes, so she forced her eyes closed and focused on getting a restful night's sleep.

    The next morning, at breakfast, the students were provided their schedules. Natalia skimmed over hers, quickly. She hadn't managed the restful sleep she'd wanted, but at least she wasn't exhausted. She had her breakfast neatly arranged in front of her; a bowl of oatmeal directly in front of her, a small bowl of fruit two inches up and to the left of her cereal, and a glass of orange juice aligned with her fruit. Tucking the schedule into her bag, the Russian began her breakfast, scanning the other faces in the room.

    Eva dropped down across from Natalia. She was the opposite. She had one plate piled high with eggs, bacon, pancakes, and fruit. All of the food was touching, too. The redhead made a face.

    Petra
    Unaware of the secrets the school kept at night, Petra had slept through the night. At breakfast, she retrieved her schedule and immediately sought out Castor, coming up behind him and poking him in the rib when she found him. "Boo," the blonde greeted with a grin, before heading for the breakfast line. She went straight for the pancake station, piling a plate high with a stack of pancakes she'd never be able to finish.

    It was always like this for her, on the first day back to school.
     
  15. romamaro

    romamaro Well-Known Member

    Elpida Smith
    Having made her decision—an impulsive, not-fully-thought-through decision, but a decision nonetheless—Elpida spent the next tense few seconds watching the rest of the seated students. She didn't understand how a couple people managed to look bored, considering that this was possibly one of the most exciting things that had happened to her.

    She took the empty goblet, but wrinkled her nose at the sight of the wine. It wasn't like she was a prude or something, it was just that white wine really wasn't her drink of choice. It made her feel like some middle-aged white mom. She usually preferred something more fun, like a cute cocktail with one of those little paper umbrellas. Glancing around at the older students, however, she quickly gathered that this wasn't optional. She could only hope that it wouldn't become a regular thing. She downed the alcohol in one go, her nose wrinkling for a second as the smell hit her.

    The option to 'mingle' was one she took gladly, hoping to find that the people she'd be going through this experience with weren't too bad. A lot of them she already knew, like Arthur, who was an almost-friend from last years Advanced Gifts I class. She spent most of the chatting-time successfully breaking the tension that hung in the air

    She slipped back into her bedroom, thankful that she decided against shoes, since they definitely would have woken her roommates up. She fell into bed, the adrenaline of the night making way for exhaustion. She was asleep in seconds.

    She woke up to the sun streaming through her open blinds, and for a moment thought that she'd dreamt the whole thing. She had to walk through the events a few times before she fully believed that they'd really happened. There was a tangible buzz in her body as she went around her morning routine, squeezing in a few minutes of guitar practice before heading down to breakfast.

    As much as she craved her mom's homemade Greek food, Elpida was happy to settle for a more Westernised breakfast. There was no paximadi in sight, so she settled for toast, yoghurt with honey, and a lovely little herbal tea concoction of cherry and cinnamon. It was the closest that she'd get to the traditional Greek breakfast that her mother never stopped talking about.

    Her food sitting on top of her timetable that she hadn't quite looked at yet, she took a seat at an empty table. She glanced around the hall as she sipped her tea, looking almost suspicious as she tried to catch the eyes of anyone that she'd seen at the meeting the previous night.

    Castor Sternberg

    He was only running on around one hour of sleep, but you wouldn't have been able to tell that by looking at him. Castor arrived at breakfast looking presentable, but feeling like he was about to fall asleep. He was almost nodding off standing up before a quick jab to the ribs caught him by surprise. Fearing it was Chad-Bradley, he let out a gaspy, relieved sigh when he saw that it was Petra. Smiling, he followed her to the breakfast queue.

    "Thanks for waking me up," he quipped, his usual stutter disappearing at the presence of a friend. He split from her as he went for porridge, adding just the barest amount of salt; he could practically hear his nana calling him a psycho for not taking honey.

    Since his porridge-and-cup-of-black-coffee breakfast was as easy as you could get, he was the one to wave Petra over when she'd finally got her breakfast sorted. "You'll make yourself sick if you eat all that," he said with a nod towards the pancake-tower, stirring his thick porridge to cool it down.
     

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