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PeleCindertind
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

14 Jan 2012, 00:20

She offers the ones she found to the Cynis.

"I found has many as I could--you would think things like this would be easier to find then they are."

Although she won't say anything outloud, Amneir is a bit disappointed. She was hoping for the parties she knew in primary. Some stolen booze, a small, cheap casino area, games of seven minutes in heaven, and lots of gossip and flirting. Still this was a start...though of what exactly remained to be seen.
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

14 Jan 2012, 09:12

"Morgan is only speaking a joke," Kaetris says hurriedly. "I understand that such humor is most common in the Realm, yes? To show affection by using...um...what is the word...sarcasm? Yes, only a joke of sarcasm."

Kaetris gives a little shrug, as if to prove how little Morgan's comment matters, and leans down over the board, resting her cheek in her palm, while her fingers play with her hair. What should she do? Clearly, she isn't experienced enough at Gateway to decipher the Air aspect's moves, but maybe she can figure out his intent in other ways.

She glances up at him, her dark gray eyes scanning his face. He is arrogant, certainly, though that doesn't seem to be a unique trait amongst the Dynasts. At least he seems to have some justification for his arrogance, what with his skill at Gateway. And he is handsome; she'll give him that much. But he seems to think a little too highly of himself, so maybe she can use that against him.

"Amneir is a nice girl," Kaetris says, as she continues her methodical advance in the Western sector. "She is interested in the same things that all girls are interested in. But I do not have much knowledge of all that she likes, other than clothing and fashion and pretty things; it would be best to be speaking to her yourself."

She sighs, silently. All of this talk about Amneir, and just because she dresses and acts like a concubine. It would be much easier to compliment her behind her back if she actually had some positive qualities.

And why was the Air aspect treating Kaetris as if she was invisible? She has better lineage than all of the Dynastic mongrels and scavengers in this room put together! But how was he to know that? These degenerate sophisticates had probably never even heard of Gens Nefvarin. He was probably only judging her by what he could see. Maybe he doesn't think she was pretty; maybe he thinks that she is too fat or that her dress is too conservative or that her stupid, ugly hair looks like a horse's tail.

Kaetris's right hand plays with the bow in her hair, while the left hand moves a Yeddim and a Strider into mutually supporting positions in the West, slowly swinging towards the center. Let the Air aspect toy with her and try to prove his brilliance by beating her through tricks - she is going to stick with her plan and use her central defensive position as a pivot, while her Western flank sweeps inward.
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

14 Jan 2012, 20:21

Amneir: The Cynis gave a small frown as she looked at the candles presented.

"Are these really all you could find? Well...I suppose they will have to do. It was quite short notice. We will make them work." She took the candles from the waiting hand, moving to take them to the trays that were sitting out in preparation. One of the other girls, a wood aspect judging from the aspect markings, patted the floor beside her.

"Over here, Amneir. You can sit at the southern point." She smiled up in innocence, the other girls talking in hushed tones or reading from small books they held in their hands.

Kaetris: The Air Aspect let out a sigh as he stared at the board, his chin resting gently in the palm of his hand, his elbow heavy upon the table. "Of course you don't have that knowledge, of clothes and pretty things. After all, you're not a Realmite. You're Lookshyian. Proud, strong, and good at rules...when you know them." He moves several more pieces, his pawns beginning to form lines in pockets of Kaetris's army that she hadn't noticed before due to his roundabout way of reaching them.

"The only good way to play any game is by knowing the rules, all the rules, before you even begin. And my courting of Miss Amneir, well, is just another such game. I have no wish for a long-term relationship. She's only a Ledaal for Dragon's sake. My family can do much better, possibly even V'neef or Cathak. But the game of conquest...that's the best part." Pieces make movements left and right, making surgical strikes through Kaetris's fronts that would do little in a real battle, but have a definitive purpose in this game.

"And so I ask you of her. Of her likes, her dislikes, what she favors and her weaknesses. Because before I play the game, I want to learn the rules. Why, to simply walk up to her in the cafeteria and attempt to court her would be...well, like simply walking up to a Realm prodigy at a Realm school and attempting to play a game like a Lookshyian." He places one last piece, leaning back in his chair. His pieces are strange. There's no front or defense, no focal gathering of clusters or offensive lines. Just...patterns. And it takes Kaetris a few moments to realize what it was. His red pieces were shaped like a five-pointed star on the lower board, and an eye on the second board.

"The Mark of the Scarlet Empress. Instant win of the game." His cool eyes look up to Kaetris. "A simple tactic, mostly for show than anything. There's no real reason to win in such a way, as anyone who puts any effort into playing Realm rules would very easily block it. But...this entire time, you weren't thinking like a Realmite, were you? One tends to cling to their background when frustrated. Frustrated by, say, an attractive Realm boy talking about an attractive Realm girl instead of the cute but more boyish Lookshyian?" His eyes continued to stare at Kaetris. "You have a strong idea of war tactics. But this isn't war, and this isn't Lookshy. This is the Realm. And you approach me, an obvious expert in the game, and expect lessons for free? Nothing here is for free. You pay in some form, and in this game, it was humiliation. You want to keep playing the game? You need to learn the rules." He spins the board, the cheap enchantments within causing the pieces to return to their starting positions.
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PeleCindertind
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

14 Jan 2012, 21:23

Amneir smiles apologeticly before taking her seat next to the wood aspect. She does not comment on how strange it is that they have sat her, an obvious water aspect, at the southern point, which is usually associated with fire. But she ignores that for now, sitting in her place and giggling while trying to see what little books the girls are reading.
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

14 Jan 2012, 21:59

It was rather odd, actually. A dichotomy.

On the one hand, he wanted to applaud the young man who had flattened Kaetris. He'd manipulated his opponent like a master, playing her like a fiddle into a maneuver Morgan himself should've seen; yet he too had been irritated by his focus on Amneir. He had essentially displayed the very skills and talents Morgan held in high regard; cunning, intellect, ruthlessness, and brilliance. Truly, this was a young man who would thrive in the Realm Morgan ultimately planned to create.

On the other hand, he wanted to punch the smug sonofabitch in the nose so hard his ancestors would feel it in the Underworld and say 'ow!'. It was an irrational sensation. He could see no rhyme or reason in it. It was a sensation that decidedly irked him. Kaetris intrigued him, that was certain. But his sole interest was for the information she could provide him. Same with Amneir, she was a tool to be used to remove the obstacle of this murder investigation.

Why, then, was he acting and/or feeling somewhat defensive towards them, and even Muhara?

The fact that he had no ready answer frustrated him, although not a single inkling of it passed his perfectly laconic demeanor. He suppressed the urge to stand and make a pointed comment about the young man's parentage, or anything else as reckless as he'd done with Amneir before. Kaetris was, as the young man said, Lookshyan. And standing for her, rather than letting herself handle it'd do no good, especially in this context. Besides, it'd be so much more satisfying if she socked him in the jaw. But he did make one resolution.

The next game was his.
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

15 Jan 2012, 08:40

Kaetris looks at the board for a moment before reaching for her notebook. With a thoughtful grunt, barely audible, she takes out her pencil and sketches the game’s final positions, so that she can remember them for the future.

“Thank you very much for the game,” she says, flipping the notebook closed. “It was most interesting to learn the rules of the Realm. In Lookshy we are only playing the original rules – those written by House Cathak. I had not heard of the Mark of the Scarlet Empress being a way to victory, but I see now that it much like gaining all of the scoring cards in Whist, yes?”

She forces a smile, outwardly calm and pleasant, but inwardly seething. She isn’t embarrassed; why should she be? She is a novice who had lost to a master, which is what she had expected. But the insufferable arrogance, the constant insults to her and her country – arrgh! What is wrong with these people? Don’t they learn the basics of proper etiquette before being shipped off to this damned island? And what the hell does he mean, calling her ‘boyish’?

But, what if she is losing at another game here? Maybe he isn’t being such a jerk; maybe he’s helping her with all of his rudeness and bravado. She should listen, and try to learn the rules.

“Of course I am knowing now,” she says, casting her eyes down, “that the Mark of the Scarlet Empress was not the lesson you were wishing to teach. I would very much like to play more, and learn more. Is there a regular club that is meeting to play?”

Kaetris stands up, gathering her things and taking one last look at the board.

“And I cannot be recommending that you look after Amneir, but if you do…I am thinking that the two of you are very much alike, Master…uh…” Kaetris stumbles as she realizes that she never learned the Air aspect’s name.

“Thank you and good day,” she says, giving a curt bow.
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

16 Jan 2012, 00:16

Amneir: The little books they're holding are full of scribbles, all hand written. None of them are printed or bound professionally, so they seem to be small journals they all wrote themselves. They're small black books, and the writing is basic pencil. You can't really read what it is they have written down due to the dimness of the room, but they're able to read them just fine. The ground you're sitting around has chalk drawings over the stone, in the shapes of circles and triangles. A tray of crackers and cheese sit nearby, completely untouched by any of the girls. There's also a clear bottle of dark red liquid, looking almost like a wine bottle.

The girl next to you leans over, looking into your eyes. "So...what's the color of your mind's eye?"

Kaetris/Morgan: "Croix. Peleps Croix. And yes, we have a small club that meets every few nights or so. If you wish to learn to play the game, you can show up and play with some of the other members." He leaned back in his chair, the edges of his fingers grazing over the board as he moved.

"And Miss? I only take humiliation as a payment once. It's something of little value to anyone but the one who receives it and not worth bartering. Next time you want to play me? Bring something of more substantial worth. Like, say...information. You weren't exactly a font of wisdom about the game I wish to play, and I would hate to look the rookie."
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kyriotsu
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

16 Jan 2012, 16:59

"..."

Morgan's black coat swept across the ground as he walked up to the two of them, thoroughly ignoring the young Peleps in favor of Kaetris. Executing a very precise bow of the head, down-up, he spoke quite calmly. And even smiled slightly.

"Thank you for the journal. Translations proceeding quickly. Would you mind if I paid a visit later; new developments have arisen."

Upon finishing that sentence, he cast a look towards Croix, his eyes deliberately moving from him, to the Gateway board, and back. An unseen question was asked in a raised eyebrow, before he returned his attentions to his, Amneir's, and Muhara's ersatz partner-in-crime.
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

16 Jan 2012, 17:12

Amneir blinks at the question.

"I suppose it would be the same color as my non-mind eyes? I don't know. Can you tell me?"
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

16 Jan 2012, 19:35

"That will be fine," Kaetris says, returning Morgan's bow. "I will be in my room."

She walks brisquely over the far tables and picks out a pastry, with a buttery crust and a mixed fruit filling. Kaetris still can't believe how good the food is here - apparently every day is a feast day for the Dynasts. It almost makes up for the fact that the students are a pack of dogs, without honor and without discipline.

Munching on her desert, she gives the dining hall one last look as she composes a mental checklist of the homework she still has to do. It is going to be a busy evening.

On the way out she swipes another pastry for good measure.

Humming a bit to herself, she strolls back to her room and roots through the luggage stored under her bed. She finds five candles, the kind that are infused with incense, that she had brought along for meditation. Candles in one hand, half a pastry in the other, she ambles over to Amneir's room and raps on the door.
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

16 Jan 2012, 19:44

Inigo answers.

"My lady is not in at the moment. If you would like to leave a message, I will relay it upon her return."

It falls silent and stares at Kaetris.
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

16 Jan 2012, 19:45

Morgan kept his face impassive until Kaetris had left the room. Then he turned, with almost glacial precision, to face the Gateway prodigy that had flattened her.

And he smiled.

This, however, was not the smile he had given Kaetris. That one was vaguely warm. Emphasis on the vaguely. This one gave the viewer a distinct impression of horrors beyond imagining, of catastrophe and disaster, a distinct footsteps-walking-across-your-grave feeling. As in temperature-in-a-several-mile-wide-radius-drops-to-freezing-levels feeling. Inherent in two upturned sides of the mouth. Ragara Morgan tilted his head to the side, eyes closed, and gave his 'friendliest' smile to Croix.

Sometimes it was wonderful to be an Exalted.

Then he sat down quite calmly across from the Peleps student and raised an eyebrow.

"Guardian Gate rules?"
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

16 Jan 2012, 20:52

“You are a cute little thing,” Kaetris murmurs to Inigo, in Riverspeak. “A Shogunate model, if I am not mistaken, from…”

She leans in to get a better look at the automaton, paying special attention to the side of its head. She also gives the room a quick once-over, to make sure that the spider monster is a safe distance away.

“Just a little look, if you don’t mind. Aha! From the Most Harmonious Forge of Synthetic Genesis, in Denandsor; the angle of the cooling vents is a dead giveaway. Your mistress – or, someone in her family – has good taste.

“You are a work of art,” she says, shifting back into High Realm. “I congratulate you. But, I am having a thing for Miss Amneir, and she said that she is wanting it for tonight.” Kaetris wiggles the candles. “Is she near? Or shall I be leaving them with you?”
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

16 Jan 2012, 21:16

Inigo's emotionless face does not reveal anything when she is inspecting him.

"The lady Amneir has already left for the evening. I may take a message, but that is all."

Therius climbs in through the window, some blood on his fangs as he goes to his web.
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

16 Jan 2012, 21:32

The spider!

"AmessageisfinepleasetellherIamhavingcandlesforhergoodnight!"

With (a lot) more force than is necessary, Kaetris pulls the door shut in Inigo's face. Nervously alert, she backs down the hall towards her room, on the lookout for any spider-related movements.
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

16 Jan 2012, 23:49

Amneir: The girl frowned. "You've come to the circle and don't even know the color of your mind's eye? You must be very new...mine is Topaz! Such a strong color!"

One of the other girls looks up from her little book, rolling her eyes as she spoke. "Not everyone believes in that mind's eye junk. It's just something you read about in those trashy occult mags of yours." She smiles over at Amneir. "Kids these days. Everyone knows your starsign is what affects your fate. What star were you born under?"

Morgan: Croix looks across the table at you. His cool eyes look you over, studying you. They pause at your eye, but then continue their inspection. Finally he leans forward, his chin once again resting in the palm of his hand. "What's a game worth to you?"
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

17 Jan 2012, 00:29

Morgan didn't miss a beat in replying. He held up a hand, four fingers extending upwards. The Eye glinted slightly, in the reflected light off the Gateway board.

"Satisfaction of curiosity." One finger down.

"A riddle." Two fingers down.

"A test of sanity." Three fingers down.

"And I know who shares Amneir's room." Four fingers down, and he placed a closed fist quite gently on the table. "Take your pick."

That half-smile stayed, quite placid, on his face. But that one eye was damned unreadable. But even if he could read minds...

Three of those I win. One of those I gamble. Let the games begin.
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

18 Jan 2012, 09:15

Amneir looks at the girl.

"I was born under the Peacock."
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

19 Jan 2012, 23:26

Amneir: "The peacock? Well, I suppose that explains your dresses. Yes, I believe the peacock does fit you perfectly!" She smiles over at you, keeping her small book held tightly to her chest. The girls in the group hush as the Cynis approaches them, placing the new candles down on the ground. Freshly lit, they start to fill the closet with the smell of lavender and honeysuckle.

"Girls, as you know we have a guest tonight. Let's welcome Ledaal Amneir to our little circle." They all look over at you, smiling and giving soft congratulatory claps of their hands. "She's new, and doesn't even have her own placement in the circle yet, but I'm sure after tonight she'll become a darling friend."

Morgan: Croix looks at your hand, then reaches out to a piece on his board and places his first movement, straight forward. "Well then, you're so eager to play, let's play." His eyes keep more on Morgan than the board as he moves his pieces, spreading them out in an arc to cover all his paths.
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

20 Jan 2012, 14:33

Morgan matched his new opponent move for move in the start, before beginning a very conservative series of movements. Shoring up defenses, tightening flanks - true to the name Guardian Gate, he played defensively, almost by rote. It seemed he was content to watch Croix's movements quite carefully for now...

That maddening half-smile wouldn't vanish, however.

Play the opponent. Watch the board. Wait for that one moment. Then push.
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

23 Jan 2012, 06:35

Amneir keeps a smile plastered on her face, swallowing back the urge to snap at the girl. What was that supposed to mean about her dress? These were hardly the colors of the peacock! If she wanted to do that, she has a gown that would be much more appropriate. Thankfully at least her need to reply is curtailed by the arrival of the Cynis. Her smile turns only slightly more genuine when she is introduced.

"I hope for the same thing." she replies. More accurately, however, she is starting to wonder what these girls are about.
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

23 Jan 2012, 22:39

Amneir: The girls are all circled about, still holding their small books. The Cynis moves to stand in the middle of the circle, a small crown of wrapped rose stems and twine around her head. She held a bone from some kind of bird in her right hand, and a sliced apple in the other. As she moved to the center, her dress swishing against the floor, the others all stared in hushed silence. None seemed to pay any more attention to Amneir, and were now completely transfixed on the girl. The Cynis turns to you, smiling wide.

"Ledaal Amneir. Please step forward."

Morgan: Croix continued to look bored as he played, moving his pieces about, testing Morgan's defenses with smaller offenses that left him none the weaker for their failure. He protected his crucial pieces and made necessary sacrifices when they were necessary. He had no real strategy, though it was more focused than the last game. He was not trying to make any design, but to play the game as it was meant to be played. And for right now, his movements were...odd.
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

24 Jan 2012, 07:26

Amneir stands slowly, smoothing out her dress. For a brief moment, she wonders if she should not have told someone where she would be, so that they would know where to start the search if she goes missing. But that moment of paranoia passes quickly. She is Amneir, daughter of house Ledaal. She was not supposed to exalt, and she did. She was not supposed to be bright enough for anything, and now she was at the Heptagram. She was supposed to be "lucky" to get a "decent" marriage and now she was poised to become the wife of one of the most powerful men in Grayfalls, and if Muhara was any indication she would have a long line of possible suitors if he was foolish enough to reject her. She had been accused of murder but had convinced the Dominie himself to let her investigate it.

Bad things did not happen to Ledaal Amneir. Opportunities for greatness merely disguised themselves.

She tried to keep herself from grinning as she considered this, but it shone from her eyes none the less.
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

24 Jan 2012, 22:16

Morgan, on the other hand, grinned more than slightly ferally. For all that this was Croix's arena, he had not kept in mind one subtle difference between the bulk of his opponents, and the Ragara scion in front of him.

Morgan was not altogether sane.

Choosing to attempt to bootstrap himself into learning sorcery. Losing an eye, but only growing in resolve from it. Planning to reconstruct the Realm over his breakfast. These were not the actions of a sane individual. But they did engender a certain knack for performing...the unexpected. Gateway was never Morgan's game, truth be told. But improvisation? Combined with mind games?

Now.

The feral grin appeared in a heartbeat, and Morgan's eyes lifted to lock onto Croix's in a piercing gaze; the jade eye itself changing to a most vivid red, lending his presence a truly frightening mean. Body language was all in, here; twitching in the shoulders, a swift and sure hand - no hesitation whatsoever. Something was in the works. Without hesitation, he threw his units into a complete reversal, the conservative gameplay being replaced by a vicious offensive that slashed right towards Croix's lines. Ruthless efficiency. Flat-out aggression. It was insane. It was ludicrously reckless. To go from one to the other in the space of a breath...the only reason for pulling that kind of sudden reversal was if you had a plan in the wings, right? Right?!

The grin changed back to that half-smile, the eye switching back from red to blue just as swiftly, and he calmly cocked his head to the side. Almost daring Croix to try to read his intentions.

(Will be making a roll here, once Rai looks over the post and assigns stunt dice.)
 
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Re: The Freshman 15 - Second Day of School

25 Jan 2012, 00:04

Kaetris: You don't notice any spider movements on your way back to your room, but you do see...something. Something flickered across the hallway and out of sight again. Something white.

Amneir: The Cynis keeps up her plastered smile as you approached, handing you the halved apple and the chicken bone. "Ledaal Amneir. This bone represents the mighty Roc bird, master of the skies. The halved apple represents Gaia, and her domain. By accepting these tokens, you admit yourself into the Circle of Brigid, THE most exclusive occult club in the Heptagram. Do you accept?" The other girls in the circle look up at you expectantly.

Morgan: (+2 stunt die)
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