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IC Morgrave High: Passing Marks 7

OldKentuckyShark

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"Not the worst idea in the world," Alishia admitted, "but I don't think Scanty's dealt with too many demons before. At the very least we probably ought to warn her."
”We should send her a message,” Moira agrees. “I don’t know what Shusane, or the rakshasa’s, plans are, but everyone with a mark might be in danger.”

"Aha!" the drow perks up. "The poison drink was useless but my iron will is beating her back. Hang on. It is trying to say something."
Raven rolls her eyes at the elf who thinks she can hold her liquor.

"...What happens if the enemy sets up some way to inform him of the Vol thing?

Not like that'd be difficult.
”The ‘Vol’ thing?” Auralisa asks with irritation. “That’s how we’re referring to me now?”

“The only one who knows is Shusane,” Ella points out, “and it endangers him as much as it does us. I doubt he’d be eager to spread around a secret he’s kept for more than two milennia.”

"That's...actually not a bad idea," Alishia said, rubbing her chin thoughtfully. "At the very least hiring him might make the whole 'your coworker's been possessed by a demon and you may have to fight him' thing a bit less awkward. And no, to be clear I'm not saying we should fill him in on...all this. Honestly I'm not really sure how much he'd actually care even if we did tell him, but still. Even if he can't, or won't, help us, I still owe it to him to let him know there's a demon on the loose. After that, I'm not sure what'll happen to be honest."
"...Oh. The demon is very scared. And this sounds even worse now that I say it out loud. We should not be here anymore, the vampire will say where she came from and who she met. We must go somewhere else. Anywhere. Now."

She starts moving towards the door, hand on Raven's back to gently but firmly move her along. Not that moving a dwarf against their will would ever work, but Xali is sufficiently convinced of Envy's terror that she'll try.

The party upstairs is in full swing, as if there were zero rakshasa, vampires, or ancient semi-liches currently occupying the building. The presence of the Brelish prince and Karrnathi princess has distorted the party, drawing guests into eccentric orbits around their party like wandering moons around Eberron. Headmaster ir’Witt is currently speaking to them on an elevated dais, along with the Purse and his parents and Idun and her parents, since they are nominally the ones throwing this party. Students, parents, and guests are sort of filling in the spaces around the prince and princess, forming a disorganized circular receiving line. Others are gravitating towards the pair of stairs leading up to the dais, forming several lines, which are being vigilantly studied by red-cloaked guards.

Hakar Sharaat is in one of these lines, accompanying his wife Ng and her pal, Commander Quinn. The hobgoblin is wearing Dhakaani ceremonial garb, which is basically indistinguishable from Dhakaani battle armor except for the presence of slightly more ribbons. Ng is wearing a sparkly sequin dress. Quinn is wearing the (slightly disheveled) uniform you saw her in earlier, and carrying a scroll with seals; presumably something official and diplomatic from the Prince of Orthoss Isle, or at least something that Quinn thought Koulton should have written if he’d bothered to remember.

Grace Shadar is on the other side of the room, conversing with a very plainly dressed half-elven woman; a suspiciously ostentatiously plainly dressed half-elven woman. You can always spot the cop in the room.

More worrying, Elzabeth Zillskin, Ella’s ‘cousin’, is up here, flanked on one side by what, to all appearances, is some kind of lizard-person in an evening gown, and on another side by a young woman who could vaguely pass as either an elf or a shifter but doesn't entirely resemble either. There’s something just slightly off about all three of them, although not enough to stand out against the general background strangeness that is Morgrave’s student body, so it doesn’t seem to have alerted the Redcloaks. Elzabeth looks, dresses, and walks very nearly like a Morgrave student, but the other two look like people who are trying to copy the way they've seen people act in plays. All three of them are clearly scanning the crowd, looking for something.

Probably you.
 

Kai Tave

Registered User
Validated User
”We should send her a message,” Moira agrees. “I don’t know what Shusane, or the rakshasa’s, plans are, but everyone with a mark might be in danger.”
"Right," Alishia agreed. "First chance we get, we'll drop her a line and tell her what's up. At least she's probably used to this sort of thing by now."

The party upstairs is in full swing, as if there were zero rakshasa, vampires, or ancient semi-liches currently occupying the building. The presence of the Brelish prince and Karrnathi princess has distorted the party, drawing guests into eccentric orbits around their party like wandering moons around Eberron. Headmaster ir’Witt is currently speaking to them on an elevated dais, along with the Purse and his parents and Idun and her parents, since they are nominally the ones throwing this party. Students, parents, and guests are sort of filling in the spaces around the prince and princess, forming a disorganized circular receiving line. Others are gravitating towards the pair of stairs leading up to the dais, forming several lines, which are being vigilantly studied by red-cloaked guards.

Hakar Sharaat is in one of these lines, accompanying his wife Ng and her pal, Commander Quinn. The hobgoblin is wearing Dhakaani ceremonial garb, which is basically indistinguishable from Dhakaani battle armor except for the presence of slightly more ribbons. Ng is wearing a sparkly sequin dress. Quinn is wearing the (slightly disheveled) uniform you saw her in earlier, and carrying a scroll with seals; presumably something official and diplomatic from the Prince of Orthoss Isle, or at least something that Quinn thought Koulton should have written if he’d bothered to remember.

Grace Shadar is on the other side of the room, conversing with a very plainly dressed half-elven woman; a suspiciously ostentatiously plainly dressed half-elven woman. You can always spot the cop in the room.

More worrying, Elzabeth Zillskin, Ella’s ‘cousin’, is up here, flanked on one side by what, to all appearances, is some kind of lizard-person in an evening gown, and on another side by a young woman who could vaguely pass as either an elf or a shifter but doesn't entirely resemble either. There’s something just slightly off about all three of them, although not enough to stand out against the general background strangeness that is Morgrave’s student body, so it doesn’t seem to have alerted the Redcloaks. Elzabeth looks, dresses, and walks very nearly like a Morgrave student, but the other two look like people who are trying to copy the way they've seen people act in plays. All three of them are clearly scanning the crowd, looking for something.

Probably you.
With a thought Alishia shifted her outfit into something formal once more as they ventured back towards the party, eyes peeled and ears pricked for the sights and sounds of sudden violence, of which none seemed to be forthcoming just yet. She wasn't quite sure whether that was a good sign or not.

"There's your cousin," she said, grabbing Ella's shoulder and subtly directing her gaze to where the other not-quite-gnome was standing and looking intently around the room. "Woah, who's that with her? Not the elf, the other one. Well, the elf too I guess. How many friends did she bring?" She didn't want to risk remaining in one place for too long given that people (dragons, in particular) were looking for them and so she did something she rarely did at parties like this; she mingled. It was more of a strategic mingling than a social one, relying on the gathered crowds for cover as she made her way from one vague clump of people to the next until she had managed to position herself by Hakar Sharaat in one of the lines leading to where the prince and princess were receiving visitors.

"Yep, some party," she mentioned offhandedly, glancing around the room herself. "Sure are a whole lot of Redcloaks. So, uh...you've fought a lot of things, Guul'chib. Strictly hypothetically speaking, if someone like, oh I dunno, let's say a powerful wizard were to somehow, hypothetically, wind up possessed by a demon, also powerful, what would be the best way to un-possess them?"
 

OldKentuckyShark

Doritos from Japan
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"There's your cousin," she said, grabbing Ella's shoulder and subtly directing her gaze to where the other not-quite-gnome was standing and looking intently around the room.
"She's not my cousin," Ella snaps. "Elzabithstrix's not even a blood relation. She's an amethyst. She just happens to be in my..." Ella pauses. "You don't have a word for it in your language. Or anything like it, really. Qibbiztrekithkens. It's something like 'Commune-foster-clutch-for-education-and-prey-survival.'"

"Woah, who's that with her? Not the elf, the other one. Well, the elf too I guess. How many friends did she bring?"
Ella sighs. "That's some of Elzabeth's gang. They call themselves les enfants catastrophique, because everything sounds more rebellious in Elven. They're... well, basically they're the Argonessan equivalent of Jox and Katya."

"Really?" Katya says, perking up. "Think they'd let me ride one?"

"The tall scaly one is Xaipho; she's a white and about as dumb as a rock. She probably thought it was clever to take the form of clan servitor race that's only found in Argonesson and Q'barra. The furry one is Rysha. She's a brass. Very good at shapeshifting, likes to play at being a chimera to freak out the mundanes, also loves to talk about herself. If those three are here, there's at least one more; Elzabeth never goes anywhere without her brood-sister Callixo."

"Listen: the thing you have to understand is that they're... well, I was about to say that they're dragon-supremacists, but... you know..." she gestures vaguely. "All dragons are dragon-supremacists, because dragons are supreme. But Elzabeth and her lackeys don't take the, uh... lesser races... seriously. Like, they think it's fun to mess with them, for sport. They;ve got this game they play where they do flybys of rural villages, grab a young farm-boy, reveal their true forms, convince him that he's the destined hero of Draconic Prophecy, and send him into the goblin's den to get killed."

She didn't want to risk remaining in one place for too long given that people (dragons, in particular) were looking for them and so she did something she rarely did at parties like this; she mingled. It was more of a strategic mingling than a social one, relying on the gathered crowds for cover as she made her way from one vague clump of people to the next until she had managed to position herself by Hakar Sharaat in one of the lines leading to where the prince and princess were receiving visitors.

"Yep, some party," she mentioned offhandedly, glancing around the room herself. "Sure are a whole lot of Redcloaks. So, uh...you've fought a lot of things, Guul'chib. Strictly hypothetically speaking, if someone like, oh I dunno, let's say a powerful wizard were to somehow, hypothetically, wind up possessed by a demon, also powerful, what would be the best way to un-possess them?"
"Chop their head off," Hakar says simply. "Or call for a dirge-singer. Or both. Probably both. Why is this come up now?"
 

Ax_

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”The ‘Vol’ thing?” Auralisa asks with irritation. “That’s how we’re referring to me now?”
"More referencing the whole situation in general, really"

“The only one who knows is Shusane,” Ella points out, “and it endangers him as much as it does us. I doubt he’d be eager to spread around a secret he’s kept for more than two milennia.”
"Well, fair enough.
I suppose from his point of view he'd have more to lose than us"

"Listen: the thing you have to understand is that they're... well, I was about to say that they're dragon-supremacists, but... you know..." she gestures vaguely. "All dragons are dragon-supremacists, because dragons are supreme. But Elzabeth and her lackeys don't take the, uh... lesser races... seriously. Like, they think it's fun to mess with them, for sport. They;ve got this game they play where they do flybys of rural villages, grab a young farm-boy, reveal their true forms, convince him that he's the destined hero of Draconic Prophecy, and send him into the goblin's den to get killed."
"So they're sadists?"
 

Kai Tave

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Validated User
"The tall scaly one is Xaipho; she's a white and about as dumb as a rock. She probably thought it was clever to take the form of clan servitor race that's only found in Argonesson and Q'barra. The furry one is Rysha. She's a brass. Very good at shapeshifting, likes to play at being a chimera to freak out the mundanes, also loves to talk about herself. If those three are here, there's at least one more; Elzabeth never goes anywhere without her brood-sister Callixo."

"Listen: the thing you have to understand is that they're... well, I was about to say that they're dragon-supremacists, but... you know..." she gestures vaguely. "All dragons are dragon-supremacists, because dragons are supreme. But Elzabeth and her lackeys don't take the, uh... lesser races... seriously. Like, they think it's fun to mess with them, for sport. They;ve got this game they play where they do flybys of rural villages, grab a young farm-boy, reveal their true forms, convince him that he's the destined hero of Draconic Prophecy, and send him into the goblin's den to get killed."
"Y'know, for being so supreme, most of the dragons we've run into sure do turn out to be huge jerks," Alishia remarked. "You guys ever think about working on that a bit? Might make things a lot easier for you to get stuff done."

"Chop their head off," Hakar says simply. "Or call for a dirge-singer. Or both. Probably both. Why is this come up now?"
"Mmm yeah, funny you should ask that," Alishia said noncommittally. "So, you remember how Professor Shusane sorta went missing during the Xen'drik trip? Right around the same time he was fighting a demon? Did you also know that nobody bothered to deactivate the teleportation circle in his quarters? Pretty weird, huh."
 

OldKentuckyShark

Doritos from Japan
Validated User
"Well, fair enough.


I suppose from his point of view he'd have more to lose than us"
”About the same, really. That’s the thing about dragon-fire; it’s all encompassing and thorough.”
"So they're sadists?"
”No, not really,” Ella says, groping for words, “although I can see why you’d get that from what I said. It’s more like… I don’t know, they’re doing it because they want to upset the status quo. If the kid with the sword managed to kill the goblins, that would be okay with that too. It’s not the pain they want, it’s….”

“They’re doing it for the lulz,” Katya says.

“Yeah, that,” Ella finishes.

"Y'know, for being so supreme, most of the dragons we've run into sure do turn out to be huge jerks," Alishia remarked. "You guys ever think about working on that a bit? Might make things a lot easier for you to get stuff done."
Ella winces. “It’s not that easy. Being a dragon is… look, you’re just going to have to take my word for it that things look different when you’re looking forward to several millennia of being a nigh-unkillable armored sorcerer king, and knowing that everyone else that you know is also a potential rival nigh-unkillable armored sorcerer king.”

“The word I mentioned before, that you don’t have in your language? Qibbiztrekithkens? It’s a relatively new thing in Argonessan society. Among the more progressive and intellectually-minded dragons, a few different flights agreed to lend their young to a communal clutch where different colors and sheens would be raised and educated together. A school, basically. They’ve only been doing it for a few centuries, it’s still in the trial phases. Do you know what the old way was? After their fiftieth year a young dragon would be banished to the wilderness to live or die on their own, outside of all law or custom. Only the strongest survived. And that’s still the way it’s done in most of Argonesson; most dragons consider the new way of child-rearing to be dangerous coddling.”

“To you, that probably sounds monstrous, but the hing is, the old way had a point to it. It taught every dragon to be an island to themselves, and that was, in some ways, kinder to the world. Can you imagine what the world would look like if dragons were as gregarious and prolific, or as belligerent, as humans? If they built cities, and formed societies and nations? They’d carpet every continent, and form the government of every nation, and their armies would shatter continents every time they fought.”

Ella points at Elzabeth. “She and I went to school together. We’re the new radicals.” She pauses. “She also used to date Mazragul.”


"Mmm yeah, funny you should ask that," Alishia said noncommittally. "So, you remember how Professor Shusane sorta went missing during the Xen'drik trip? Right around the same time he was fighting a demon? Did you also know that nobody bothered to deactivate the teleportation circle in his quarters? Pretty weird, huh."
Hakar’s head rotates slowly to stare at Alishia. At his side, Ng stiffens, picking up on her new husband’s sudden stillness. “What are you saying?” Hakar asks quietly. “Be vary, very specific.” His tongue clicks. "How much time do we have?"
 

Kai Tave

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Validated User
Ella winces. “It’s not that easy. Being a dragon is… look, you’re just going to have to take my word for it that things look different when you’re looking forward to several millennia of being a nigh-unkillable armored sorcerer king, and knowing that everyone else that you know is also a potential rival nigh-unkillable armored sorcerer king.”

“The word I mentioned before, that you don’t have in your language? Qibbiztrekithkens? It’s a relatively new thing in Argonessan society. Among the more progressive and intellectually-minded dragons, a few different flights agreed to lend their young to a communal clutch where different colors and sheens would be raised and educated together. A school, basically. They’ve only been doing it for a few centuries, it’s still in the trial phases. Do you know what the old way was? After their fiftieth year a young dragon would be banished to the wilderness to live or die on their own, outside of all law or custom. Only the strongest survived. And that’s still the way it’s done in most of Argonesson; most dragons consider the new way of child-rearing to be dangerous coddling.”

“To you, that probably sounds monstrous, but the hing is, the old way had a point to it. It taught every dragon to be an island to themselves, and that was, in some ways, kinder to the world. Can you imagine what the world would look like if dragons were as gregarious and prolific, or as belligerent, as humans? If they built cities, and formed societies and nations? They’d carpet every continent, and form the government of every nation, and their armies would shatter continents every time they fought.”

Ella points at Elzabeth. “She and I went to school together. We’re the new radicals.” She pauses. “She also used to date Mazragul.”
"Oh, that's, uh, that's awkward," Alishia said at that last remark, briefly glancing in Elzabeth's direction. "But, I mean, you seem to have turned out okay. Not like 'okay for a dragon,' I mean in general, as a person. So maybe the whole dragon school thing's working after all? Or...I dunno, maybe what would help is if more dragons followed your lead and went to school with some non-dragons once in a while. Yeah yeah, I know, 'lesser races' and all that, but it's worth a shot."

Hakar’s head rotates slowly to stare at Alishia. At his side, Ng stiffens, picking up on her new husband’s sudden stillness. “What are you saying?” Hakar asks quietly. “Be vary, very specific.” His tongue clicks. "How much time do we have?"
Nobody had ever before accused Alishia of possessing an overabundance of responsibility but there were limits to how irresponsible someone could be, and here in the middle a party full of innocent people was the time and place to throw caution to the wind and resort to the desperate, nigh-unthinkable measure of informing a teacher. "We don't," she said, stepping in closer and pitching her voice low. "Shusane is here, right now, and there's a rakshasa riding him like a Rail engine. He's got other demons with him, and he may have Cassia's mother already. Look, if there isn't some way to stop him then we need to get these people...we need to get you out of here. You, Ng, Percy and Idun, the prince and princess, everyone. Getting you back here in one piece the first time was hard enough, I didn't haul you back onto an airship just to lose you at some fancy party."
 

Sage Genesis

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Ella winces. “It’s not that easy. Being a dragon is… look, you’re just going to have to take my word for it that things look different when you’re looking forward to several millennia of being a nigh-unkillable armored sorcerer king, and knowing that everyone else that you know is also a potential rival nigh-unkillable armored sorcerer king.”
"Oh believe me," Xali says, "I know exactly how they feel. It seems dragons feel as if they are wise drow. This is good to know. I know how to talk to wise drow."

And speaking of doing things for the lulz, Xali slinks off.

Only to appear a few moments later near the dragons, holding a servant's tray laden with drinks and tiny snacks on toast. "Hello! Enjoy a little bite to eat. From the tray, not me, please. Is annoying, no? Knowing you are so much better than all of these people but they are so weird and so many that you always go out of your way to not do something rude? And now you are here and nothing is as easy as you thought and there are too many plot threads to keep straight. So help me out, let us not do the screaming and clawing and the breathing death and the receiving a thousand counter-attacks. Who are you? What do you want? Why are you here?"
 

OldKentuckyShark

Doritos from Japan
Validated User
"Oh, that's, uh, that's awkward," Alishia said at that last remark, briefly glancing in Elzabeth's direction. "But, I mean, you seem to have turned out okay. Not like 'okay for a dragon,' I mean in general, as a person. So maybe the whole dragon school thing's working after all? Or...I dunno, maybe what would help is if more dragons followed your lead and went to school with some non-dragons once in a while. Yeah yeah, I know, 'lesser races' and all that, but it's worth a shot."
”That sounds like a recipe for getting students and faculty devoured,” Ella says. “But I do think we could start smaller, like… diplomatic ties, or something. An embassy, maybe.”


Nobody had ever before accused Alishia of possessing an overabundance of responsibility but there were limits to how irresponsible someone could be, and here in the middle a party full of innocent people was the time and place to throw caution to the wind and resort to the desperate, nigh-unthinkable measure of informing a teacher. "We don't," she said, stepping in closer and pitching her voice low. "Shusane is here, right now, and there's a rakshasa riding him like a Rail engine. He's got other demons with him, and he may have Cassia's mother already. Look, if there isn't some way to stop him then we need to get these people...we need to get you out of here. You, Ng, Percy and Idun, the prince and princess, everyone. Getting you back here in one piece the first time was hard enough, I didn't haul you back onto an airship just to lose you at some fancy party."
Hakar stares at Alishia for a moment. “This is not a trick,” he finally says, decisively. “You are not type.”

The big hobgoblin pats his belt-pouches, as if searching for something. He seems to find what he’s looking for crumpled up in a hip-pocket. When he unrolls it, it turns out to be a thick, wax-coated envelope, of the type used by long distance couriers. Carefully, he slits the edge with a sharp thumbnail and spills the coil of paper inside out into his palm. Flattening out the very small scrip of scroll, he holds it up to his face and gives every sign of reading it intently.

After a moment, he fishes a monocle on the end of a golden chain out of the neck of his armored hauberk, screws it into his one good eye-socket, and peers at the paper some more. His brow furrows in intense concentration.

Finally, and somewhat bashfully, he hands it to a curious Ng. “Is in Galifar,” he mutters. “You read better.”

Ng stares at the paper in fascination. After another long pause, she turns to Qin. “How do you say this word?” she asks, pointing at the paper.

The Changeling rolls her eyes and says, “Nihilism.”

Ng nods. She reads some more. “What about this one?”

“Performative,” Qin sighs.

Ng turns back to her husband. “Perfomative nihilism.”

Hakar turns to the Headmaster, who is schmoozing the prince and princess. In a voice made to carry across battlefields, which means it’s just barely audible in the hubbub of students and wealthy patrons, he calls out “Performative nihilism!”

Argo ir’Witt is good. Only the briefest flicker crosses his face to show that he has heard. Nobody else in the crowd pays this utterance any attention. You see the Headmaster smile and nod to the royal teens, bowing briefly to each, as he makes his goodbyes, and then he steps away and is lost from view. A few moments later, almost as if by magic (although it could just be very experienced court etiquette), he turns up next to Hakar with a scowl across his handsome face.

“Oh look, Lady d’Orien. Seeing you here, now, is the least surprising thing that’s ever happened in the history of pedagogy.” You don’t remember ever seeing the Headmaster in a titch before. He turns to Hakar. “What has our illustrious Arcana teacher gotten up to now?”

And that’s the point when you realize that the faculty has a secret, pre-arranged signal worked out just in case Dr. Shusane ever goes rogue.

Hakar points to Alishia. “Ask her.”


Only to appear a few moments later near the dragons, holding a servant's tray laden with drinks and tiny snacks on toast. "Hello! Enjoy a little bite to eat. From the tray, not me, please. Is annoying, no? Knowing you are so much better than all of these people but they are so weird and so many that you always go out of your way to not do something rude? And now you are here and nothing is as easy as you thought and there are too many plot threads to keep straight. So help me out, let us not do the screaming and clawing and the breathing death and the receiving a thousand counter-attacks. Who are you? What do you want? Why are you here?"
Spoiler: Show




Elzabeth’s eyes narrow at Xali’s words. You have no doubt at all that she got the insinuation. Rysha, the furry one, continues to look bored. She has a travel slate – a wooden frame with wax lining used to record words not worth committing to expensive paper – tucked under one arm and she has occasionally been making marks on it, as if counting something. When Xali speaks, she makes an additional mark. Xaipho, the scaly one, furrows her spiky, be-horned brow. Then she takes a snack off the tray and eats it.

“Well,” Elzabeth says. “Well, well, well. Cousin Ella has been a naughty girl, hasn’t she? Rysh, make a note of that.”

Rysha makes a note of that.

“If we’re being un-subtle,” she says, giving the word some extra bite, “let me ask you a question first. Then we’ll trade. It’s only fair, since you seem to know so much about us already.” She puts her tiny, tiny hands on her hips. “Where’s Mazragul?”
 

Kai Tave

Registered User
Validated User
”That sounds like a recipe for getting students and faculty devoured,” Ella says. “But I do think we could start smaller, like… diplomatic ties, or something. An embassy, maybe.”


Hakar stares at Alishia for a moment. “This is not a trick,” he finally says, decisively. “You are not type.”

The big hobgoblin pats his belt-pouches, as if searching for something. He seems to find what he’s looking for crumpled up in a hip-pocket. When he unrolls it, it turns out to be a thick, wax-coated envelope, of the type used by long distance couriers. Carefully, he slits the edge with a sharp thumbnail and spills the coil of paper inside out into his palm. Flattening out the very small scrip of scroll, he holds it up to his face and gives every sign of reading it intently.

After a moment, he fishes a monocle on the end of a golden chain out of the neck of his armored hauberk, screws it into his one good eye-socket, and peers at the paper some more. His brow furrows in intense concentration.

Finally, and somewhat bashfully, he hands it to a curious Ng. “Is in Galifar,” he mutters. “You read better.”

Ng stares at the paper in fascination. After another long pause, she turns to Qin. “How do you say this word?” she asks, pointing at the paper.

The Changeling rolls her eyes and says, “Nihilism.”

Ng nods. She reads some more. “What about this one?”

“Performative,” Qin sighs.

Ng turns back to her husband. “Perfomative nihilism.”

Hakar turns to the Headmaster, who is schmoozing the prince and princess. In a voice made to carry across battlefields, which means it’s just barely audible in the hubbub of students and wealthy patrons, he calls out “Performative nihilism!”

Argo ir’Witt is good. Only the briefest flicker crosses his face to show that he has heard. Nobody else in the crowd pays this utterance any attention. You see the Headmaster smile and nod to the royal teens, bowing briefly to each, as he makes his goodbyes, and then he steps away and is lost from view. A few moments later, almost as if by magic (although it could just be very experienced court etiquette), he turns up next to Hakar with a scowl across his handsome face.

“Oh look, Lady d’Orien. Seeing you here, now, is the least surprising thing that’s ever happened in the history of pedagogy.” You don’t remember ever seeing the Headmaster in a titch before. He turns to Hakar. “What has our illustrious Arcana teacher gotten up to now?”

And that’s the point when you realize that the faculty has a secret, pre-arranged signal worked out just in case Dr. Shusane ever goes rogue.

Hakar points to Alishia. “Ask her.”
"Hey, what's that supposed to mean? I'm not the one you have to have a secret signal for," Alishia said, briefly indignant at the Headmaster's accusatory tone before she remembered they had bigger problems to deal with. "Anyway, it's not what he's gotten up to, it's what's gotten into him. Namely a demon. By which I mean he's here, in the building, with a demon inside of him. No this isn't a prank, no I'm not making it up. I mean I dunno, maybe there's a reason he's wearing a weird mask and a tiger pelt and he brought a couple of cat-headed ladies in armor with him. Wizards, y'know? But I'm pretty sure there's a demon involved somewhere."

"Oh, and someone was trying to assassinate the Prince but Cassia's mother already took care of that," she added after a moment. "I don't think you need to worry about that anymore unless they know a good necromancer, but you might want to make a note to have someone take care of the body later."
 
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