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IC Morgrave High: Passing Marks 7

Sage Genesis

Two
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Validated User
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?”
Ah shit. This is just like back when school had just started and Xali found out there are tests in this place. People apparently expect you to pay real serious attention to boring things and the concerns of lesser peoples. And now she was supposed to remember what happened to Marzipan or whatever?

Wait. No hang on. Wasn't this the dragon that got turned into cheese-holes and then made a zombie? Or something? Pretty sure it was like that. Now, phrasing something like that to Elzabeth requires a gentle touch. Empathy and condolences. Make it clear that it was Fleshbinder's lot who were really responsible. In short, this is what calls for a master diplomat.

...

"Oh he dead," Xali says.
 

OldKentuckyShark

Doritos from Japan
Validated User
"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.
”Don’t be so certain that we don’t.”

"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."
Argo stares at Alishia for a moment before shaking his head. “No,” he says. “No, I don’t believe that for a moment. Dr. Shusane is many things, but chief among them is one of the most paranoid and self-protective individuals I have ever had the misfortune to meet, and that includes the royal family. He is astonishingly, almost unbelievably knowledgeable about protections from mental and spiritual possessions, and he personally designed the wards we use around the University.”

“Not that I don’t believe that he’s up to something,” he adds, before Alishia can object. “But I doubt that he’s been possessed.”

"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."
”What?!” Argo shouts before he can stop himself, drawing looks from the crowd. He visibly calms himself down. “Alright, that’s it.” He turns to Hakar. “We’re going to go open up Shusane’s quarters and straighten all this out. I’ll send Grace to fetch the Master Key. You send your lovely wife to fetch Lord ir’Tarn, because we’re going to need a wizard. I will meet you outside Shusane’s quarters, while Lady d’Orien explains just what in the hell she’s been doing to catch wind of such tidings.”

Then the headmaster very gently takes Alishia’s arm and starts guiding her back downstairs.

Ah shit. This is just like back when school had just started and Xali found out there are tests in this place. People apparently expect you to pay real serious attention to boring things and the concerns of lesser peoples. And now she was supposed to remember what happened to Marzipan or whatever?

Wait. No hang on. Wasn't this the dragon that got turned into cheese-holes and then made a zombie? Or something? Pretty sure it was like that. Now, phrasing something like that to Elzabeth requires a gentle touch. Empathy and condolences. Make it clear that it was Fleshbinder's lot who were really responsible. In short, this is what calls for a master diplomat.

...

"Oh he dead," Xali says.
You lie!” Elzabeth snaps, her eyes blazing. This is not a euphemism: the shapeshifting enchantment disguising her as a gnome starts to fail and her eyes become faceted purple gemstones that burn with an intense inner light. Xaipho and Rysha recoil back from the tiny creature, and Xali can feel a certain amount of internal pressure coming to bear on her temples as the gnome glares at her; it’s like what she’s felt around Kell-y the few times the changeling got actually angry. “Where is he?” Weirdly, her words don’t carry all that far in the crowd, but penetrate deeply and painfully into Xali’s head. Yep. Definitely a psychic. “What have you done with him?


Since Xali hasn’t had her turn yet at asking a question yet, this doesn’t seem to be fair. Before she can object a claw-tipped hand lands on her shoulder. It belongs to an astonishingly well-muscled young person who managed to approach Xali in a disturbingly silent fashion. “You’d better answer her question,” the androgynous figure says tonelessly.

Spoiler: Show

 

Kai Tave

Registered User
Validated User
”Don’t be so certain that we don’t.”
Alishia thought things over for a moment before nodding in agreement that such an outcome was probably more likely. "Okay fair, but it better be something cool sounding."

Argo stares at Alishia for a moment before shaking his head. “No,” he says. “No, I don’t believe that for a moment. Dr. Shusane is many things, but chief among them is one of the most paranoid and self-protective individuals I have ever had the misfortune to meet, and that includes the royal family. He is astonishingly, almost unbelievably knowledgeable about protections from mental and spiritual possessions, and he personally designed the wards we use around the University.”

“Not that I don’t believe that he’s up to something,” he adds, before Alishia can object. “But I doubt that he’s been possessed.”
"You know what?," Alishia said, meeting the Headmaster's gaze. "I genuinely, sincerely hope you're right and I'm wrong. I will gladly take an I-told-you-so over the alternative here."

”What?!” Argo shouts before he can stop himself, drawing looks from the crowd. He visibly calms himself down. “Alright, that’s it.” He turns to Hakar. “We’re going to go open up Shusane’s quarters and straighten all this out. I’ll send Grace to fetch the Master Key. You send your lovely wife to fetch Lord ir’Tarn, because we’re going to need a wizard. I will meet you outside Shusane’s quarters, while Lady d’Orien explains just what in the hell she’s been doing to catch wind of such tidings.”

Then the headmaster very gently takes Alishia’s arm and starts guiding her back downstairs.
"Okay seriously, how can you hire Cassia's mother and not expect stuff like that to happen?," Alishia asked, not unreasonably. "I mean c'mon, look at that entire family, it's not exactly like they bother keeping it a secret. If it makes you feel any better at least it's one less royal assassination attempt you have to worry about so, y'know, good with the bad and all that.

She glanced back at Sandovish as the Headmaster began gathering staff and faculty while leading her back downstairs, shaking her head to indicate that he shouldn't follow them. "You may need to get Auralisa out of here," the thought towards him while she was still close enough to do so. "Whether Shusane's possessed or not, we can't let him catch up with her or things are gonna get real messy real fast."
 

Sage Genesis

Two
RPGnet Member
Validated User
You lie!” Elzabeth snaps, her eyes blazing. This is not a euphemism: the shapeshifting enchantment disguising her as a gnome starts to fail and her eyes become faceted purple gemstones that burn with an intense inner light. Xaipho and Rysha recoil back from the tiny creature, and Xali can feel a certain amount of internal pressure coming to bear on her temples as the gnome glares at her; it’s like what she’s felt around Kell-y the few times the changeling got actually angry. “Where is he?” Weirdly, her words don’t carry all that far in the crowd, but penetrate deeply and painfully into Xali’s head. Yep. Definitely a psychic. “What have you done with him?

Since Xali hasn’t had her turn yet at asking a question yet, this doesn’t seem to be fair. Before she can object a claw-tipped hand lands on her shoulder. It belongs to an astonishingly well-muscled young person who managed to approach Xali in a disturbingly silent fashion. “You’d better answer her question,” the androgynous figure says tonelessly.
"I do not lie." Xali retorts petulantly. "Currently," she adds, for greater accuracy. "Take it easy. I will tell you the things as they happened. It is a long history so I give you a short version. It all began with someone named Fleshbinder..."

The screen goes wibbly-wobbly as a flashback scene begins.


Flashback Which Really Really Happened said:
A thunderstorm. Rain lashes the towers of Sharn and lightning brings the world into a stark black-and-white monochrome. An evil shadowy cabal is cackling. Since Xali hasn't ever really gotten that good a look at most of them, the details are exaggerated and look like a Saturday morning cartoon.

"Ahahahaaa!" cackles a large imposing figure, which presumably is Fleshbinder. "I am a bad man with bad feelings all of the time! I'm going to fuck around with the dragon marks for no particular reason! I am just that bad! Hahaha!
"Ow!" Xali yelps as the grip on her shoulder tightens. "Ok so I was not really there at that moment, but that is pretty sure what happened. I am just trying to fill in the blanks to make story easier to follow. Now where was I? Oh yes! So...

Wibbly-wobbly

Another Flashback said:
A warrior in red appears, a true firebrand. Dramatic letters splash on the screen. It is Mazragul.

"Stand back mortals!" he says with an imperial wave of his hand. "I have figured out the bad stuff that these people do. You did well to investigate their crimes so far but now I shall take over. For I am... a dragon! Take care, Ella, and lead these people to safety."

And with that he leaps into battle, changing shape as he rushes forward.

"Dragons!" a gaggle of teenagers exclaim. "We never knew this!"
Ella, who somehow has very tell-tale horns and tiny wings, looks sheepish. "Aw gosh, I guess the jig is up. I'm sorry for deceiving you all friends."

"Not all of us," a cool and sultry voice purrs from the shadows.

Up above! Gliding down from a gargoyle, Xali arrives on the scene. She looks taller than normal. Definitely leaner too and with better defined muscle tone. "I knew all along." she says in a hoarse whisper which somehow is clearly audible. "For I am The Dire Bat Girl. I know everything. But I did not want to say anything because I respect your secrets, Ella."

"Golly!" the goofy Ella exclaims. "Thanks so much! You are a true friend of the dragons! I also love your hair. It is very shiny and has the scent of all the best flowers."

But the battle does not go well. The dark forces of darkness conjure up a generic mass of magic. It looks a sickly shade of purple, and moves the way fog would do if it could snarl at people. An outstretched hand! Zap! Mazragul is hit!

"OW MY BONE!"

And he collapses. The world grows very still.

Alishia the Human Slut shrieks in panic. "Oh no! He was so cool! I wish he was my boyfriend!"
"Me too," agrees Sand, putting a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"I am confused," she says. "Because the human language is crude and imprecise, it is not clear whether you want him to be my boyfriend, or whether you want him to be your boyfriend."
"Yes." he simply answers.
"Haha! That is a such a good joke which has never ever been told before. Oh Sand... this is why out of my many, many lovers, I am totally settling for you."

Nicodemus interjects. "Hey! We have to get out of here! The dragon has been slain and my god is very weak. If he couldn't do it, then my faith certainly can not do it either. Run!"

They all ran off like headless chickens. Except for Xali. She was back on the gargoyle, surveying the carnage. A single tear rolled down her cheek.

As the group ran, Renaya looks back. "Perplumifying! What conducts her to remain non-ampulatory? Even with my scintillating cerebellum, I can not figure out this riddle!"

Kell-y looks back and smiles. "She is paying her respects to an equal, for she and Mazragul understood each other even in the briefest instance they saw one another. Such is the way of warriors. Now she mourns. Yes... if The Dire Bat Girl has any weakness, it is that she cares too much about other people."

"And that, my friends, is what really happened."

Probably better to leave out the bit where he's a zombie. Even though Xali only spoke the truth, that particular bit might make it hard to believe...
 
Last edited:

OldKentuckyShark

Doritos from Japan
Validated User
Alishia thought things over for a moment before nodding in agreement that such an outcome was probably more likely. "Okay fair, but it better be something cool sounding."
”Yes, very cool I’m sure,” Argo says soothingly. “I thought them all up myself.”

Hakar rolls his remaining eye, as if to say, “He’s no dirgesinger.”

"You know what?," Alishia said, meeting the Headmaster's gaze. "I genuinely, sincerely hope you're right and I'm wrong. I will gladly take an I-told-you-so over the alternative here."
”And if you’re making the whole thing up,” the Headmaster adds cheerfully, “I get the pleasure of expelling you and then turning you over to the King’s Guard for make false threats against the prince’s life.”

"Okay seriously, how can you hire Cassia's mother and not expect stuff like that to happen?," Alishia asked, not unreasonably. "I mean c'mon, look at that entire family, it's not exactly like they bother keeping it a secret. If it makes you feel any better at least it's one less royal assassination attempt you have to worry about so, y'know, good with the bad and all that.

She glanced back at Sandovish as the Headmaster began gathering staff and faculty while leading her back downstairs, shaking her head to indicate that he shouldn't follow them. "You may need to get Auralisa out of here," the thought towards him while she was still close enough to do so. "Whether Shusane's possessed or not, we can't let him catch up with her or things are gonna get real messy real fast."
There’s an awkward mental pause. “We didn’t want to tell you, while you were busy speaking to the Headmaster, but she vanished almost as soon as you began speaking to him. Vanished in a very literal sense. I assume she used an invisibility charm or bauble, because I was able to track her motions through the crowd for a short distance, but then...” He makes the odd mental equivalent of an awkward cough. “She got away.”

“If it helps, I don’t think she could get very far; she has nowhere to go.”


The Headmaster shows up with Grace Shadar in tow; the shaven-skulled vice-headmaster gives Alishia a very evil look and commander Quinne a very awkwardly nonchalant look. Ng shows up a moment later with the Purse’s father quite literally in tow; the tiny former pirate just grabbed the sleeve of his incredibly expensive mage’s coat and dragged him after her.

“Will someone tell me what in Siberys is going on here?” the arcana teacher says, giving the assembled teaching staff, and Alishia, a genuinely bewildered look. “My wife is busy making apologies to the Rierdran ambassador for my absence.”

“Dr. Shusane is back,” the Headmaster says succinctly.

“Oh,” Lord ir’Tarn says. He wipes his mouth. “Well, shit.”

Grace Shadar sighs and pulls a key out of the folds of her dress. It’s a small, normal, and unassuming key with a very small House Kundarak sigil on its barrel. “Let’s get this over with,” she says.

They’re leaving, now, with Alishia in tow unless she really wants to mount a desperate escape. Who is going with you down into Shusane’s quarters?

"I do not lie." Xali retorts petulantly. "Currently," she adds, for greater accuracy. "Take it easy. I will tell you the things as they happened. It is a long history so I give you a short version. It all began with someone named Fleshbinder..."

The screen goes wibbly-wobbly as a flashback scene begins.

"Ow!" Xali yelps as the grip on her shoulder tightens. "Ok so I was not really there at that moment, but that is pretty sure what happened. I am just trying to fill in the blanks to make story easier to follow. Now where was I? Oh yes! So...

Wibbly-wobbly

"And that, my friends, is what really happened."

Probably better to leave out the bit where he's a zombie. Even though Xali only spoke the truth, that particular bit might make it hard to believe...
”Wow!” Xaipho says. Her big, scaly face is a mask of perfect awe. “You did all of that? What was the thing with the cloud of darkness?”

“No, you idiot,” Elzabeth snaps. “She’s obviously lying.”

“Yeah, but about what?” Rysha asks, cocking her head to the side. Her nostrils flare making her look momentarily bestial. “She smells like absolute confidence. I think she thinks she’s telling the truth.”

“Flesh always lies,” the voice behind Xali says dispassionately. “Why don’t we just take the truth out of her mind? It’s what we’re going to have to do anyway.”

"Not here,” Elzabeth says. She’s glaring at Xali. The whole glowing-eyes thing has not banked down; in fact, they’re now illuminating a sizable part of the crowd around you with amethyst light and drawing the occasional, not-all-that-curious glance from passersby. Students with glowing eyes is like the fiftieth least interesting thing to happen at this party. “This bad man with bad feelings? Who is he? How was he able to k-- hurt Mazragul?”

“If we’re going to interrogate her, we should do it somewhere quiet, with a drain in the floor,” the now-really-annoyingly-dispassionate voice behind her says resignedly. The grip on her shoulder doesn’t crush anything especially cruelly, but it’s as unyielding as iron. Do dragons keep their dragon strength in humanoid form? How is that fair?

“Not your worst notion, sibling,” Elzabeth says. She touches a finger to her forehead.


[OOC: because Xali was story-ambushed, she can make a free Acrobatics check at this time to slip Callixo’s grip. If unsuccessful, Callixo is going to try for a grab attempt, and Elzabeth is doing… something]
 

Kai Tave

Registered User
Validated User
”And if you’re making the whole thing up,” the Headmaster adds cheerfully, “I get the pleasure of expelling you and then turning you over to the King’s Guard for make false threats against the prince’s life.”
"Hey let's get something straight," Alishia said, "I'm doing this because I'm trying to keep people from getting hurt. Be honest with me, how often do students actually come to the teachers here for stuff like this?"

There’s an awkward mental pause. “We didn’t want to tell you, while you were busy speaking to the Headmaster, but she vanished almost as soon as you began speaking to him. Vanished in a very literal sense. I assume she used an invisibility charm or bauble, because I was able to track her motions through the crowd for a short distance, but then...” He makes the odd mental equivalent of an awkward cough. “She got away.”

“If it helps, I don’t think she could get very far; she has nowhere to go.”


"Yeah, I guess I should have expected something like that,"
Alishia thought. "All right, just keep an eye out for her, but watch out for yourselves too, okay? I have no idea what's about to happen here but once it starts it's probably gonna get real exciting real fast."

The Headmaster shows up with Grace Shadar in tow; the shaven-skulled vice-headmaster gives Alishia a very evil look and commander Quinne a very awkwardly nonchalant look. Ng shows up a moment later with the Purse’s father quite literally in tow; the tiny former pirate just grabbed the sleeve of his incredibly expensive mage’s coat and dragged him after her.

“Will someone tell me what in Siberys is going on here?” the arcana teacher says, giving the assembled teaching staff, and Alishia, a genuinely bewildered look. “My wife is busy making apologies to the Rierdran ambassador for my absence.”

“Dr. Shusane is back,” the Headmaster says succinctly.

“Oh,” Lord ir’Tarn says. He wipes his mouth. “Well, shit.”

Grace Shadar sighs and pulls a key out of the folds of her dress. It’s a small, normal, and unassuming key with a very small House Kundarak sigil on its barrel. “Let’s get this over with,” she says.
Alishia ignored the look that Grace Shadar gave her...it was hardly the first time, after all...and instead glanced back between her and Quinn, wondering for a moment what the other woman saw in someone as stuffy as the Deputy Headmaster. Okay yes, Quinn could be very proper, but that was different. She supposed that Shadar's sideline in pilfering artifacts and sending them back to Thrane was kind of like piracy if you squinted, so maybe that was something they had in common? Or it could just be that there really was no accounting for taste. "Yeah, that was my reaction too," she said dryly as the Purse's father joined the impromptu search party. "Well, time to find out if I'm expelled or not, I guess."
 

Sage Genesis

Two
RPGnet Member
Validated User
”Wow!” Xaipho says. Her big, scaly face is a mask of perfect awe. “You did all of that? What was the thing with the cloud of darkness?”

“No, you idiot,” Elzabeth snaps. “She’s obviously lying.”

“Yeah, but about what?” Rysha asks, cocking her head to the side. Her nostrils flare making her look momentarily bestial. “She smells like absolute confidence. I think she thinks she’s telling the truth.”

“Flesh always lies,” the voice behind Xali says dispassionately. “Why don’t we just take the truth out of her mind? It’s what we’re going to have to do anyway.”

"Not here,” Elzabeth says. She’s glaring at Xali. The whole glowing-eyes thing has not banked down; in fact, they’re now illuminating a sizable part of the crowd around you with amethyst light and drawing the occasional, not-all-that-curious glance from passersby. Students with glowing eyes is like the fiftieth least interesting thing to happen at this party. “This bad man with bad feelings? Who is he? How was he able to k-- hurt Mazragul?”

“If we’re going to interrogate her, we should do it somewhere quiet, with a drain in the floor,” the now-really-annoyingly-dispassionate voice behind her says resignedly. The grip on her shoulder doesn’t crush anything especially cruelly, but it’s as unyielding as iron. Do dragons keep their dragon strength in humanoid form? How is that fair?

“Not your worst notion, sibling,” Elzabeth says. She touches a finger to her forehead.


[OOC: because Xali was story-ambushed, she can make a free Acrobatics check at this time to slip Callixo’s grip. If unsuccessful, Callixo is going to try for a grab attempt, and Elzabeth is doing… something]
OOC: I will see your story-bullshit and raise you with some story-bullshit of my own.


The best thing about shadow-teleporting at a moment's thought was that you never had to worry about people getting a little too handsy. If they want to play it this way, then fine! Time to get all Dire Bat Girl on them.

With a thin, vaporous shlurp sound, Xali's whole being pours into the pool of shadows at the group's feet, only to reappear just behind the androgynous Callixo and grips their shoulder for a change - albeit of course with nowhere near the force.

"Ok let us not get all psycho. I was going to tell you anyway. The one who killed Mazragul is called Fleshbinder. Or maybe his minion, a crazy little gnome called... Duke? I think he died later so it does not matter. It is all on Fleshbinder anyway."

She will proceed to fill in more details for the dragons, with the one exception of Moira and her aberrant marks. The way Xali tells it, Fleshbinder is messing with the draconic prophecy and they're just a bunch of adventurous kids who were targeted because they have dragonmarked scions in their group. She will especially mention them cutting open Raven's corset and it's not entirely clear whether it's meant to be sinister or fanservice-y.

"... and that is why we and Ella fight them. And why you should fight them too. Oh and I think there is a demon-possessed lich in the building which requires some attention. All in all this is a very busy social event!"
 

OldKentuckyShark

Doritos from Japan
Validated User
"Hey let's get something straight," Alishia said, "I'm doing this because I'm trying to keep people from getting hurt. Be honest with me, how often do students actually come to the teachers here for stuff like this?"
”Shockingly often,” Argo says. “You would be absolutely amazed. This school is entirely filled with trouble magnets, and every one of them is absolutely convinced that they and only they is embroiled in some world-ending conflict.”

"Yeah, I guess I should have expected something like that,"
Alishia thought. "All right, just keep an eye out for her, but watch out for yourselves too, okay? I have no idea what's about to happen here but once it starts it's probably gonna get real exciting real fast."
“Yes,” Sandovish says. “Stay safe. We will be nearby, if things start to go wrong.”

Alishia ignored the look that Grace Shadar gave her...it was hardly the first time, after all...and instead glanced back between her and Quinn, wondering for a moment what the other woman saw in someone as stuffy as the Deputy Headmaster.
Her previous boyfriend (?) was Koulton Brightwind, so....

Okay yes, Quinn could be very proper, but that was different. She supposed that Shadar's sideline in pilfering artifacts and sending them back to Thrane was kind of like piracy if you squinted, so maybe that was something they had in common? Or it could just be that there really was no accounting for taste. "Yeah, that was my reaction too," she said dryly as the Purse's father joined the impromptu search party. "Well, time to find out if I'm expelled or not, I guess."
The little clutch of teachers trudges out of the party and down the stairs to the teacher’s apartments. Hakar keeps Alishia close to himself while the Headmaster walks up to Shusane’s door and tentatively knocks.

“Dr. Shusane?” he asks, obviously not expecting a reply. “We’d like to have a word.”

Argo’s already reaching into his jacket pocket for the master key when the door opens. Dr. Shusane stares out at you. He looks absolutely terrible. The silk half-mask is gone and you can see underneath it that Shusane has been horribly scarred. New skin has formed over the wounds, but the muscle underneath it is atrophied or missing, so that you can literally see the indentations of cheek and jawbone stretching his paper-thin skin. Argo flinches, and Lord ir’Tarn turns pale. He's ditched his plush travel robes and tiger cloak for a plain grey shirt and pants; his usual attire.

“Yes?” Shusane demands. “What is it?”

There’s an awkward pause. “So, I see that you survived your battle,” Argo manages eventually.

“As did you,” Shusane says coolly.

“And you didn’t think to send a message to that effect?” Argo asks.

“I only just returned to the city,” Shusane says. He catches sight of Alishia, and rolls his eyes. Given that one eye is missing an eyelid, this is a gruesome sight. “After you abandoned me in the middle of the ocean, I was indisposed for quite some time.”

“Understandable, understandable,” Argo says, flapping his hands. “Well, if you need to take your time off, to recover from your injuries, don’t hesitate at all.”

“I am fully recovered,” Shusane says, daring anyone to disagree.

“…. Well,” Argo says. “That’s good to hear.” He coughs desperately to fill the stretched out silence. “You see, the thing is, we’ve had reports that you’ve been… ah… possessed by a demon. Which, given the circumstances when last we saw you, seems… ah… plausible. And as you know, you signed the standard Morgrave teaching contract, which specifies that you may be tested randomly for… uh, possession by hostile entities.”

Shusane stares. His baleful gaze passes over the party, lingering on Alishia and Hakar Sharaat. Then he steps back from the doorway. “Very well. Let’s get the farce over with.”

The inside of his apartments is immaculately clean and 100% undead, demon, and bone-golem free. As you file in, Lord ir’Tarn stares with fascination at the huge oil painting portrait of young Shusane and his dead wife. Shusane takes his largest chair and drags it out into the center of the floor, rolling up the carpet. Then he sits down. “Go on,” he says wearily. “Draw your magic circle.”

Grace Shadar eyes both the Headmaster and Shusane skeptically, then bends, pausing to fussily arrange her dress, and starts to chalk silver sigils on the stone floor.

“He does not seem possessed,” Hakar murmurs in Alishia’s ear.


OOC: I will see your story-bullshit and raise you with some story-bullshit of my own.


The best thing about shadow-teleporting at a moment's thought was that you never had to worry about people getting a little too handsy. If they want to play it this way, then fine! Time to get all Dire Bat Girl on them.

With a thin, vaporous shlurp sound, Xali's whole being pours into the pool of shadows at the group's feet, only to reappear just behind the androgynous Callixo and grips their shoulder for a change - albeit of course with nowhere near the force.
Callixo turns, breaking Xali’s grip, but doesn’t otherwise escalate things. They’re now standing between Xali and their sister, which seems to be good enough for them.


"Ok let us not get all psycho. I was going to tell you anyway. The one who killed Mazragul is called Fleshbinder. Or maybe his minion, a crazy little gnome called... Duke? I think he died later so it does not matter. It is all on Fleshbinder anyway."

She will proceed to fill in more details for the dragons, with the one exception of Moira and her aberrant marks. The way Xali tells it, Fleshbinder is messing with the draconic prophecy and they're just a bunch of adventurous kids who were targeted because they have dragonmarked scions in their group. She will especially mention them cutting open Raven's corset and it's not entirely clear whether it's meant to be sinister or fanservice-y.

"... and that is why we and Ella fight them. And why you should fight them too. Oh and I think there is a demon-possessed lich in the building which requires some attention. All in all this is a very busy social event!"
:And now there’s a lich involved?” Rysha asks, sounding incredulous.

“Forget the lich,” Elzabeth snaps. “This… person… that you claim killed Mazragul: where was this? When? We’d know, if Mazragul was dead.” This is true; the sudden appearance of a de-shapeshifted dragon corpse in the middle of Sharn would have made the newspapers. “And where is this Fleshbinder now?”

“I don’t believe any of this,” Elzabeth says. “I think she’s trying to distract us.” She stares around, and notices that the royal party is being ushered out of the room abruptly, to the consternation of a lot of party-goers who were hoping to get a brush with royalty. “What’s happening there?”
 
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Kai Tave

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“Yes,” Sandovish says. “Stay safe. We will be nearby, if things start to go wrong.”
"Oh don't worry," Alishia thought, giving Sandovish a smile over her shoulder as she left, "you probably won't have to wait long. Hey, this is us we're talking about."

The little clutch of teachers trudges out of the party and down the stairs to the teacher’s apartments. Hakar keeps Alishia close to himself while the Headmaster walks up to Shusane’s door and tentatively knocks.

“Dr. Shusane?” he asks, obviously not expecting a reply. “We’d like to have a word.”

Argo’s already reaching into his jacket pocket for the master key when the door opens. Dr. Shusane stares out at you. He looks absolutely terrible. The silk half-mask is gone and you can see underneath it that Shusane has been horribly scarred. New skin has formed over the wounds, but the muscle underneath it is atrophied or missing, so that you can literally see the indentations of cheek and jawbone stretching his paper-thin skin. Argo flinches, and Lord ir’Tarn turns pale. He's ditched his plush travel robes and tiger cloak for a plain grey shirt and pants; his usual attire.

“Yes?” Shusane demands. “What is it?”

There’s an awkward pause. “So, I see that you survived your battle,” Argo manages eventually.

“As did you,” Shusane says coolly.

“And you didn’t think to send a message to that effect?” Argo asks.

“I only just returned to the city,” Shusane says. He catches sight of Alishia, and rolls his eyes. Given that one eye is missing an eyelid, this is a gruesome sight. “After you abandoned me in the middle of the ocean, I was indisposed for quite some time.”

“Understandable, understandable,” Argo says, flapping his hands. “Well, if you need to take your time off, to recover from your injuries, don’t hesitate at all.”

“I am fully recovered,” Shusane says, daring anyone to disagree.

“…. Well,” Argo says. “That’s good to hear.” He coughs desperately to fill the stretched out silence. “You see, the thing is, we’ve had reports that you’ve been… ah… possessed by a demon. Which, given the circumstances when last we saw you, seems… ah… plausible. And as you know, you signed the standard Morgrave teaching contract, which specifies that you may be tested randomly for… uh, possession by hostile entities.”

Shusane stares. His baleful gaze passes over the party, lingering on Alishia and Hakar Sharaat. Then he steps back from the doorway. “Very well. Let’s get the farce over with.”

The inside of his apartments is immaculately clean and 100% undead, demon, and bone-golem free. As you file in, Lord ir’Tarn stares with fascination at the huge oil painting portrait of young Shusane and his dead wife. Shusane takes his largest chair and drags it out into the center of the floor, rolling up the carpet. Then he sits down. “Go on,” he says wearily. “Draw your magic circle.”

Grace Shadar eyes both the Headmaster and Shusane skeptically, then bends, pausing to fussily arrange her dress, and starts to chalk silver sigils on the stone floor.

“He does not seem possessed,” Hakar murmurs in Alishia’s ear.
"If you were a demon possessing someone, wouldn't you want to keep it a secret?," Alishia murmured back. "Something's not right here. I saw him come back. He had some kind of, I dunno, cat-headed bodyguards or something with him. Shusane's a necromancer, if he wants bodyguards he'd make'em himself." The mention of undead prompted another concern as Alishia glanced furtively around the room, more worried by what she wasn't seeing than by what she was. "And where's Cassia's mother? She should be here."

Spoiler: Show
That's a 5 and a 6 on Religion and Insight respectively, if Nicodemus would like to weigh in that would be really helpful right about now, not gonna lie.
 

Sage Genesis

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:And now there’s a lich involved?” Rysha asks, sounding incredulous.

“Forget the lich,” Elzabeth snaps. “This… person… that you claim killed Mazragul: where was this? When? We’d know, if Mazragul was dead.” This is true; the sudden appearance of a de-shapeshifted dragon corpse in the middle of Sharn would have made the newspapers. “And where is this Fleshbinder now?”

“I don’t believe any of this,” Elzabeth says. “I think she’s trying to distract us.” She stares around, and notices that the royal party is being ushered out of the room abruptly, to the consternation of a lot of party-goers who were hoping to get a brush with royalty. “What’s happening there?”
Xali gives Elzabeth a look. "You think I know where Fleshbinder is right now? Or where he lives? If we knew that then we would summon help and burn his place down. I know the name Dire Bat Girl makes people think I am world-greatest inquisitive, but is not so. Yet. We are talking about an evil conspiracy man with evil conspiracy minions wearing evil conspiracy clothes. If we ever find a lair, he just leaves and picks a new one."

Then Xali notices that besides the royal party there's another group leaving: Alishia and the teachers.

"Ah. I think this is about the demon-possessed lich I mentioned. Say, earlier you chased Ella, did you not? To a barricaded door? It was around there. Tell you what, we make a deal: we follow those people there and listen in as they discuss the lich. You will then know that what I said is true."
 
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