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  • Locked thread
Capfalcon
Apr 6, 2012

No Boots on the Ground,
Puny Mortals!



It's a new year, and that means it's time for a new set of students to make your mark on. Or scar, depending on your particular outlook. Everyone, walk through a bit of your morning routine before you arrive at school and then:

Annie Calamity, The Rockstar from Alchemy, so, another day, another so called "law" of reality to break. What's your next groundbreaking paper going to be on? And why did your last one get sent back for revisions?
Aaaaand, why do you need something from Dr. Marigold to continue your research? What do you do?

Lisa Keller, the Slacker from Foresight, what inconvenience do you avoid on your way to work that you knew was going to be there? Which of your peers in the department does it snare?
Anyway, you're about to head to your office when you find your class waiting for you in the stairwell. It... looks like they convinced themselves that they were supposed to have class now. When were you actually planning on having your first class? What do you do?

Abhilasha Patil, The Fake from CABSA, class time! What are you going to do to impress your students on the first day so you don't have to actually do much magic the rest of the year? How long did it take to set up?
And, Dr. Marston is sitting in the back of your room, for some reason. So, no pressure. What do you do?

Robin Claims, the Networker from Life and Death, how did you know about that there was going to be an emergency morning meeting before anyone else. Did you take any special steps to prepare for being up at this ungodly hour? Also, who's here that has been avoiding you ever since you did a favor for them?

Selene Selendes, The Git from Life and Death, I'm sure you're already bored out of your skull when it comes to attending these meetings normally, but an emergency morning meeting? Someone will pay for this, even if they had nothing to do with it. Who do you already have your sights on?

Both of you, Despite the offerings of coffee and doughnuts, most of the room still looks half asleep as Professor Highsmith enters (late, of course. One of the perks of power) to lead the meeting. She says, "As I'm sure you're all aware, this department currently has a bounty of research materials that other departments would kil- er, well, that other departments are envious of. However, I don't need to explain to you all the complications our large stockpile of materials. So, I'm going to open the floor to suggestions on how to best deal with this. And before anyone asks, NO, we're not burning them or simply disposing of them in any other way." She seems slightly disappointed, but continues, "The Dean would have my hide if he found out we disposed of material and then later, when we needed more, tried to requisition more. So, alternatives, people!"

What do you do?


The individual with a name unpronounceable in mortal tongues, but instead is simply known as 'the Dean':

quote:

● Wants to lord it over their rival, the Dean of Glorystaff College.
● Is a decent person trying to do a hard job.
● Views Pigsmoke as a bastion of cutting-edge research.
● Cares about the well-being of the student body.
● Cannot resist promises.

The Department of Life and Death

quote:

● Is lead by L.I. "The Revenant" Highsmith.



A sorceress formally from the Elements department, her terribly high body count forced a reassignment and a reevaluation of priorities. Her current vision for whipping the department into shape is... well, it seems to involve a lot of yelling at students, mostly, and alternately flirting with and shouting at her "underlings" depending on her mood. Since she could easily destroy the entire state, people tend to tread lightly.

Don't call her The Revenant to her face, obviously, or mention her height.

● Has way too many corpses. This doesn't sound like a problem for a bunch of necromancers, but since the introduction of our new department head the number has picked up even further. We can't use them fast enough, and when you have corpses laying around they either go bad, or since this is building full of necromancers they go bad. Loose spirits settle into them, some still have their old spirits lingering, grudges fester and reanimate them en masse and often en-fusion, creating destructive monsters we have to sort out.

Faculty Memebers:
Professor Vivian Lovelace - Snobbish professor who thinks that only people from pedigreed wizarding families make the best wizards. Hates Annie Calamity for obvious reasons. Probably uses necromancy to stay looking young?
Lecturer Tobias Marston: Pleasant enough fellow, but has a painful, chronic disease involving bone marrow decided to generate venom instead of blood cells. Working on a rather personal therapeutic undeath project. Gifted skeleton choreographer.
Freydis Wears-the-Blood-of-Men: Teaching Anatomy 201, Very serious norse woman, blonde hair in a severe bun, stare that can kill oxen, mysterious metallic scent that follows her around, usually wears red clothing. Also likes Doctor Who, cosplay, and is very embarrassed that Robin Claims knows both of those things.
Dr. Gibson: Worked 30 years as a friendless workhorse adjunct. Master of the subject and absolutely unforgiving of people who haven't gotten the basics down by the time they get to him.
Professor MacAlister: Charming and gifted necromancer who gardens, much to the consternation of Selene Selendes. Few other people seem to mind, though.
Professor Wilbert Beerbohm: Cut rate necromancer driven out of office by Selene Selendes. Got revenge by cursing office to always be a little slow.

Students:
Jillian Bones: Very traditionalist witch who has a nasty habit of asking really difficult questions.
Moina Mathers III: Great legacy student who is failing despite understanding the material very well. Might be cursed?
Althea Bowen: Gifted investigator, awful necromancer. Comes from a long line of vampire hunters. Probably doesn't have the chops to join the family business.
Mildred Virts: Knowledgeable student who doesn't speak English very well. From well established family.
Caronell Phrohead: Fascinating (and depressing) information regurgitation machine pulling a 4.0, but lacks love of the subject.
Mrs. Washington: Taking maximum number of courses and acing them all. Selene Selendes views this as a personal challenge.
Lean Randolph: another Trust fund baby in need of coddling by Selene Selendes.

The Department of Mindbending

quote:


Faculty Memebers:

Students:

The Department of Foresight

quote:

● Knows several prophecies are going to be emerging this year. Some of them good, many of them pretty bad. Pigsmoke is going to go through some big changes, and since we're the ones who can see what's coming up we're supposed to make sure Pigsmoke comes out at least okay from this mess.

Faculty Memebers:
Professor Caludia Verdanza: Archtypical puppetmaster with a penchant for blackmail.
Professor Esben Reenberg: Favors the hands on approach to altering destiny. Frowns on pure spellwork, as Lisa Keller is wont to do.
Professor, Cloe Bosque: Old Professor who is gifted at figuring out what actions people will take. Loves trouncing people at chess. Lisa Keller frequently loses to her, partly to kill time "talking with colleagues" and partly to see if she can win.

Students:
Mohammed Karimi: Glows with Destiny. Frequently fought over in the department.

OMENS:
The books in the library have started to become disarrayed, as if left out by readers and never put back. I can assure you the librarians did and they are not happy about what's going on. But all kinds of books are showing up. You open a cabinet to get a crystal ball, it's resting on a book about reading the future. You get something from the vending machine, a ratty diary written by someone who supposedly had great sight into the future comes to the bottom. You open the fridge, and right by the beer there's a tome of prophecies right next to it.
The books want to be read.

It's currently autumn. In the summer months thing were hot and brutal. In more ways then one. We're about to dive into the period of life when things get colder and worse, a period of suffering. But once that's done, things will be better then ever. I believe some prophecy or another covers it, but something big will be happening this year at Pigsmoke. Going to be some bad times along the way though, so I'll just make sure to keep out of that as much as possible.

The Department of Elements

quote:


Faculty Memebers:

Students:

The Department of Alchemy

quote:

● Has a dank department building filled with cauldrons and weird clouds and strange jars containing mysterious ingredients. 'Old school', as the students say.

Faculty Memebers:
Professor Torus: keyboard warrior extraordinaire. VERY upset with Annie's ginormous expense requests.
Professor Peter Leggero: Talented alchemist who doesn't mind leaving slower students in the dust. Guessing about his mysterious past has become something of a parlor game at Pigsmoke.
Professor Bartholomew: Boring, petty, strict, arbitrary, set in his ways, petty, treats his students like idiots, petty, and brags constantly. Literally the worst. Coasting on papers he published years ago. Thinks Annie Calamity's mannerisms are a disgrace.
Professor Morgana Marigold: Supposedly created a Perpetual Creation Machine, violating every known law of alchemy. Keeps everything about it hidden somewhere on Pigsmoke. No one who's seen it has published since, as they all mysteriously retired.


Students:
Morgan Weaver: Activist extraordinaire. Actually pretty talented, but always focusing on her cause of the week.

The Department of Calling, Binding, and Sealing Away

quote:

● Most of the faculty is serving two masters, or five, or twelve. Many of them aren't precisely the outgoing type anyway -- it's a dry subject, attracting the quiet gray-suit crowd, at least of the ones who survive -- but the duties of their contracts tend to drain their remaining energy and personality, leaving them shells and puppets of their bound entities. (Usually figurative shells/puppets. Usually.) Most of them are... unimpressive teachers, let's say. It creates issues in student retention, among other things.

Faculty Members:
Professor Amenhotep: Much more mellow than when he tried to introduce monotheism to Egypt. Gets a kick out of bandaging himself up and bursting into class, screaming curses about disturbing his slumber. Claims it's to teach the importance of a clear head, but mostly he just likes scaring the bejezus out of freshmen

Students:
Dominique Caldwell: Made an AWFUL deal with a mausoleum filled with Lemures to feed them in exchange for ancient knowledge and wisdom. Smart enough to pull off the binding, not smart enough to know that Lemures are... not that bright.

quote:

Other Faculty:
The Librarian: Eternal library spirit who has a very short temper for people who damage books. Otherwise, if you get on his good side, a pleasant conversationalist.
Pravuil, or Vretil, the Scribe of God, Who Was Once Nabu the Prophet, Son of Marduk: Extra-planar being commonly contacted by CASBA professors. On good terms with Abhilasha Patil and hasn't revealed her as a fake. Quite put upon.

Other Students:
Sam Glasgow (AKA Bad Luck Sam): Mostly what his name implies, but it's as if he just saps the luck out of EVERYONE nearby. Things just go wrong when he's around.
Stavros Katsaros: Has consumed an untold amount of freakish alchemy chemicals as a party trick. Might have a portal in his stomach?
Diane McConklin: Former student of Robin Claims who is headmistress of Grandfields Academy. Currently on very good terms with Robin.

Others:
Charlotte Keller: Knows that her sister, Lisa Keller, is actually helping people out with their fates, and is willing to give advice or even a sympathetic ear.

Capfalcon fucked around with this message at Mar 28, 2017 around 03:02

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Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Research: +0 Sorcery: +1 Charisma: +2 Bureaucracy: -1
Burnout: 0 Harm: 0

Well, explaining why I'm here early and how I know about the meeting requires explaining why I know about our present... predicament. You see, Professor Highsmith is a drinker. Not often, but when she does, she does. And so when she decided to purchase then entire contents of the 5th Street Crematorium, and then when they called back the next morning when she was hung over... Well, let's just say they aren't getting nearly the check that they thought they were, but they're still delivering everything in full. And, like most dangerous people, there's a particular side of them that you want to stay on, so you don't become a corpse yourself. So I may have figured out where she drinks ("J.R.'s"), when ("Thursdays, after 7, before line dancing begins at 11"), and what ("Gin." No, seriously. No chaser, no water, no tonic, just straight gin. She goes through all the different varieties they have behind the bar until they stop serving her or until the Brooks & Dunn starts), made myself a semi-regular there, and used it as a pretense to get closer, and also on the side that the fire isn't.

It stopped being fun around the fifth shot she made me do, and things get a little hazy after that, but I do remember her yelling with the mortician on her cellphone while Billy Ray Cyrus played in the background, and then us staggering down the street into an uber. The purchase wasn't my idea, I feel I should make clear. It was the result of two guys hitting on us, and making a joke about how I was out with my daughter. I understand that my mode of dress isn't the most modern, but it's a classical fashion that defies all these so called trends, and my hair is white only due to an accident during my graduate studies. But Professor Highsmith, well, she doesn't like being mistaken for younger than she is. So there are now two rats scurrying about that will hopefully transform back into young men by Thursday at the latest, and she had an excuse for another drink, and an irresponsible yet "adult" decision to make her feel like she was in charge of things.

And now here we are. I'm a morning person, by nature, but even this is a little early for me. But with an extra mug of tea before leaving the apartment, and another ready before the meeting began (skeletons make surprisingly good tea once you teach them how long to steep), I'm looking awake and chipper while the rest of my colleagues are bleary-eyed and grumbly.

And speaking of grumbly, there's Dr. Karla Scantone, who I haven't seen since last semester, when I helped her with grading her student's stitchwork and grafting on their compository reanimation finals. Due to a computer error, "Frankensteining" allowed 50 students into the class, rather than 5, so she had her work cut out for her. There was no way she would finish her student's "tests" in time for the cut-off, so I stepped up and did at least half of them. They're good kids, and they do deserve to have their work looked at so they can see what they're doing right and wrong. But ever since then, she's gone out of her way to dodge me. I can't say why, exactly. But, come to think of it...

I raise a hand. "How about more hands on work this semester? They've been a bit stingy in the past. Like, right now, I've only been assigned a single body to last me all through Necro 101. Semester before, I could barely get enough chickens, and you really can't have students doubling up with those. We've got it. Why not use it? And, if we're using it to enrich the student learning experience, well, that's what the dean is all about, right? Win-win."

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I won a rosette in the Thunderdome



Research +1, Sorcery -1, Charisma 0, Bureaucracy +2
Burnout 0, Harm 0, XP 0+1/5

Truth be told, I haven't been looking forward to this. Even in CABSA, the first day of classes is the day of flashy demonstrations, especially when your "audience" is a bunch of restless freshmen -- and Introduction to Imps is one of those early-afternoon classes that always has to compete with post-lunch stupors. The only advantage I have is that I've had time to prepare -- and prepare I have.

Last week, I had a meeting with Dr. Sternmeer, who's taught Introduction to Imps for two years running and seems glad to be rid of it now. Ostensibly it was to go over my revised syllabus, but I also arranged for her to call up Elemanzer, the department's imp-on-retainer. I don't enjoy contracting with imps, but Elemanzer's contract is as a model for the class, very little else; he's delighted because it's little work for the animal sacrifices we offer, and I'm reasonably content because he's so fundamentally unambitious. We chatted a bit about the first-day display, about his pyrotechnics and the conjurings of gold and lead, and it all sounded very... usual.

After that, it was the preparation of the circle. I've set out my chalk, candles, and salt as "an example" -- really, to make them all just so. My implements are purified and prepared. I spent most of last night in the classroom setting it up, before going home to spellcheck my syllabus, send it to the department printer, and time to sleep.

This morning... well. I woke up early -- my nerves never let me sleep in until my alarm at the beginning of a semester -- and had enough time after showering to make myself scrambled eggs and a toasted bagel, instead of just the bagel, cold. A decent meal settled my stomach, and then it was just picking out a suit, adding a sufficiently gaudy amulet necklace to convince the freshmen I knew what I was doing, and then off to school. I got in early enough for a faculty parking spot in the lot closest to Inevitable Hall, and then it was a quick jaunt to the departmental office and then to my own little cupboard. I spent the morning double-checking the syllabi and course packets, then triple-checking, because you can never trust course handouts or a departmental printer. Not as if I can afford to print any of this on my own, though...

Lunch was a diet soda and an orange, and now here I am, before the class. I've written a quick agenda on the board (INTRODUCTION; SYLLABUS REVIEW; IMP OVERVIEW; DEMONSTRATION; Q&A), and the first few students are filtering in. And... so is Dr. Marsdon. Does Life & Death not have a class in this slot he ought to be auditing? Well, no matter. If he's interested, I've got a very minor show to put on.

"Good afternoon," I begin, once the seats seem mostly filled and it's time to begin. "My name is Dr. Patil, and welcome to Introduction to Imps. If you haven't taken a course packet and a copy of the syllabus, please come down to the front for them. We'll be going over the syllabus shortly. First, let's discuss the overview of this class. This class is designed to teach you the basics of summoning and bargaining with an imp, one of the lesser denizens of Hell and a common familiar spirit, as an example extraplanar being..."

Guess it's time to wield my mighty Charisma +0:
Teach this dreadful syllabus day: 2d6 8
Marking XP per the Teach move!

Heliotrope
Aug 17, 2007

Oh, don't worry, don't worry!

It's not my blood.



Research +0, Sorcery +1, Charisma -1, Bureaucracy +2
XP: 0+1/5 | Burnout: None | Harm: None | Research: None

We got that new book in - "The Life, Lessons, and Foretellings of Richard Lucas The Third Consisting of His Experiences and Theories in the Field of Foresight, Unwritten Essays and Various Letters Gathered from Those He Sent Out, Along with Commentary on His Work by His First Son Richard Lucas The Fourth and Various Other Members of the Lucas Family and Their Visions and Interpretations As Related to the Work of The Third." Just thinking of the title makes me feel tired. It's not in great condition either - kind of battered and torn, some rips and loose pages. It's a project just waiting to happen, and The Librarian is just eager to get someone (anyone) from the department to help out. I would have run into him first, but since I knew he was going to be there I just took a different route. I did see Reenberg go that way though - works for me. Apparently he enjoys doing things the hard way, and maybe it'll keep him off my rear end for the week.

I'm whistling as I walk up the stairs, thinking of what I might want to get started on today. So many prophecies there right now. But then I realize all my students are here and looking at me. Like they think a class is starting. Which it wasn't planned at all. I'm thinking about telling them this when it occurs to me what will happen - I tell them they were wrong. They realize their methods didn't work out. I'll have to talk to them about their methods, all of them, and then later I'll also have to teach the class.

Alternatively, the easy way - I just do the class now and pretend like I planned it. In fact, it's possible that's how it was supposed to go. I might have planned having class later, but this would happen and so I'd make class now. So they would actually have been right in their predictions. Why not. I sit down on one of the lower steps going up and open my folder up. "All right, good to see everyone made it. Everyone did, right?" I take attendence, noting down any absences. "Now then. If you'll open your books to the first chapter, we'll be starting with some signs and omens that accompany the bigger destinies." Start of the school year, we go for something simple and obvious.

[19:26] <Heliotrope> Teach Class
[19:26] <Heliotrope> !r 2d6-1
[19:26] <Krysmbot> Heliotrope, 8-1 = 7
Marking XP


quote:



Name: Lisa Keller
Concept: Seer trying to prevent bad fates
Playbook: Slacker
Department: The Department of Foresight
Attitude: Way too many other irons in the fire
Eyes: Far away stare
Style: Whatever's nearby
Classroom: The right place at the right time
Magical Expertise: The discovery of hidden knowledge, object-reading, predicting the future

Stats

Research +0
Sorcery +1
Charisma -1
Bureaucracy +2

Fufillment

Doomed: Regain one point of burnout whenever you predict the worst and it happens.

Moves:

Busy Doing Nothing

time-consuming When you take it easy for a week, roll +Bureaucracy. On a 10+ choose two, on a 7-9 choose one:
Recover a burnout box.
You have an interesting thought; start a new research topic.
Someone covers for you or fulfils one of your obligations, but now you owe them. You choose the obligation you just got out of, the MC chooses the person you're now indebted to.
You overhear a secret, a promising rumour, or interesting fact. The MC will tell you what.

Fatespinner

When you meddle with someone's destiny, enact the correct ritual and roll +Bureaucracy. On a 10+ hold 3, on a 7-9 hold 1. Spend that hold one-for-one to trigger the following events.
An object or role, meant for the destined person, enters the story. (You choose the object or role.)
The destined person is confronted by a situation relevant to their destiny. (You frame the situation.)
The destined person makes a decision or choice that carries them closer to their destiny. (This is a compulsion.)

You can't store more than 3 hold for this move at any one time, spread among up to three people.

Inventory

A cellphone, probably smart
A laptop, old but good enough
All the occult paraphernalia you might need for everyday spellcasting
A reasonable apartment
Some sort of personal vehicle
Student debt
A tiny cupboard of an office
A classroom where you hold your lectures
A library of prophecies, known to be mostly accurate.

GodFish
Oct 10, 2012

We're your first, last, and only line of defense. We live in secret. We exist in shadow.

And we dress in black.


Selene Selendes (header to come)
Research +2 | Sorcery +1 | Bureaucracy + 0 | Charisma -1
Experience 0/5 | Burnout: 0 | Harm: 0

Normally I rise later - not especially late, just, an hour or two after the sun - as I refuse to hold any classes before ten in the morning at the earliest. Necromancy is easier by bright sunlight or the pitch black of midnight. Don't even try it at dawn or dusk, that's when spirits are most likely to pass on and so slip out of your spells. Rise late, raiser later, that's my motto. So, ordinarily, I rise later, get a cup of exceptionally dark coffee from my haunted coffee pot at home, sit in the back of my car while a ghoul drives to work, sipping on the coffee as it slowly wakes my system up. Then its straight to the office, where I get a fresh cup from THAT haunted coffee pot, stroke Wuffles and sit down to read the latest Necromantic literature of the day until I feel up for some proper magic.

TODAY, I had to get up far too early, and have replaced steps three (go to office) onward with stumble into the meeting room with a giant thermos of coffee from home, which is about the only thing keeping me from performing ritual magic to summon endless hordes of undead to consume everyone in this room, including myself. Instead, I occupy my time sipping and plotting hideous revenges on, say, Professor Lovelace, who has the disgustingly unmitigated gall to actually appear awake and alert at this ungodly hour. She's actually chipper, that no good lich -I should be clear, she isn't one, to the best of my knowledge, but practically speaking keeping yourself youthful with necromantic arts means you're either bathing in the blood of virgins or on that path. She'll be one soon enough. You know... if she's not doing that and is bathing in virgin blood, that'd make this revenge far sweeter, and easier, just swap it with the blood of someone who really got around, and it'd probably wrinkle her up in an instant. With that happy mental imagine in mind, I'm even able to consider Highsmith's question without spitting venom. "Animate a batch of them and set them on another department? Nothing violent, just have them shamble and decompose around their offices until they vacate them so we can have their extra space."

Rauri
Jan 13, 2008




Research: +2 | Sorcery: +1 | Charisma: -1 | Bureaucracy: +0
Burnout: 0 | Harm: 0 | XP: 0 | Research: 0

Quick summary: there are benefits to being a magical, mechanical, and just plain all-around genius. I may have to hide my magic under a bushel basket as far as the wider world goes, and my place may look like a dump from the outside... but inside? This morning I woke up to toast and coffee, both carefully calibrated to be at their optimal temperatures given how long it takes me to wake up and throw a bath robe around me in order to enjoy my breakfast. With that finished, I moved straight on to the shower (also configured to hit and then stay at the perfect temperature), then to get dressed in my favorite outfit. With that accomplished, briefcase grabbed, thermos filled with more coffee, it was off to school, where I parked my truck and walked from the parking lot of boring mundane reality towards the glorious institution that is Pigsmoke. I'm not joking, either - I love this place... I just don't like most of the people in it.

There, told you what you wanted, now buzz off.

Sitting in my entirely too small office, tapping a finger on my desk as I read through my email, I am NOT liking how today is going, as of when I started reading these stupid emails. A barrage of reminders from every busybody on campus on how to treat the students is fine enough, I can just delete those, but two in particular are absolutely pissing me off. The first is that my paper proving Mordenkainen's Conjecture is fundamentally flawed has been rejected for 'lack of sufficient evidence' and that I'll need to provide more - which is absurd, I submitted forty pages of writing on the drat stuff! It's just an attempt to stymie me, I know it - and speaking of that, onto email two.

Marigold's reserved the facility's only Orichalum Forge, seemingly in perpetuity, according to the one that's most annoying me right now. It's hard to construct quality clockwork components, not to mention some of the arcane reactors I have planned, without access to it - and it seems she only grants it out to friends and occasionally on a charity basis, though I have my doubts there's charity involved. Regardless, per the email, I have to take it up with her if I want to use it - and I NEED to use it. After all, I had a breakthrough while I was in the shower this morning... why is there a limit on academical magic when it comes to humans? We already get tattoos - I've got a bunch - and it'd be easy enough re-purpose the heavy metals in those, let alone the possibilities of using more esoteric ingredients, towards having magic on hand at all times in an unobtrusive and practical way. Paratvet won't have anything on my department when their fancy bio-magic is rendered obsolete by easy to obtain alchemical designs, and that sits right with me. Plus it's an incredibly amazing idea.

Still, to put it into use, I have to talk to Marigold. Refilling my thermos with a third cup of coffee, I figure I might as well go do it now - from looking at the schedule, she doesn't have class today at all but this IS her office hour time, and turns out I don't have class until later today - good to know, that's the sorta thing that slips my mind every now and again, too much other actually important stuff to think about. The point is, I head her way, obviously knowing where her dumb office is - she's got a super nice one, because of course.

Shooing off a few students, I cut to the front of the line to see her, telltale spurs clinking as I stride into her room, tipping my hat and winking with my only visible eye, the other covered by a mass of blonde hair. drat, her office IS nice. Not rare for an alchemist, but I'll admit, she's got good - if different - taste. The rest of this place looks like a magical sewer half the time. "How's your morning going, fellow faculty person?" Sitting in one of the chairs in front of her desk and jingling my thermos, I add, "mine's slowly getting better." There, bonding and a joke to ease tension, move onto my request. "I'm not going to take up a lot of your time, I'm sure you're busy, I just want to ask one thing: Is there any way I could get on the schedule for the Orichalum Forge Room within the next couple days?"

<Rauri> Schmooze Professor Marigold
<Rauri> !r 2d6-1
<Krysmbot> Rauri, 11-1 = 10
<Rauri> well that's awesome

Rauri fucked around with this message at Mar 30, 2017 around 07:51

Capfalcon
Apr 6, 2012

No Boots on the Ground,
Puny Mortals!



Annie Calamity, The Rockstar from Alchemy, Marigold seems surprised when you ask, saying, "Well, I do need it for class and for my research. It' was left mostly unused last quarter, so I didn't think anyone would mind. So, sure. How long do you need? Also, if you don't mind me asking, what are you going to be using it for?"

Either way, you can get on the schedule. That was easy! ...Or was it too easy? Anything bothering you about the exchange you just had? Does it bother you enough to not jump right to preparing your next genius paper?

What do you do?


Lisa Keller, the Slacker from Foresight, ugh, self-fulfilling prophecies. More than one Professor of Foresight has gone mad trying to square that circle. Anyway, only two students are absent. ...That's actually a suspiciously high accuracy for an entry level class. Do you think the class copied each other's work? That'd be a big no-no as far as attendance goes. And attendance is half the grade in classes like this.

Anyway, an hour and a half later, you give them the homework you'd planned for your actual class and send them on their way. ...Well, most of them. Turns out that you've got Bad Luck Sam in your class this year, and he's got a few questions. Specifically, he's wanting to know if he's cursed. After all, he's famous on campus for bad things happening to him, and he's got it in his head that he's under some bad omen or something.

What do you do?


Abhilasha Patil, The Fake from CABSA, the class is rapt as you start explaining the ins and outs of contracting with the lower planes. You give the usual exhortation to NEVER signing a contract without letting you check it first, for all the good it will do them. Everything has gone splendidly. And now... it's demonstration time. Ready or not... time to wow them (and Dr. Marsdon).

(To be clear, as far as the set up goes, you did the time consuming part last week. Now you just have to roll your research. )


Robin Claims, the Networker from Life and Death, and Selene Selendes, The Git from Life and Death as the first two to speak up, everyone else has already decided that ONE of you is going to be right. You know how it is. Why risk voicing an opinion when there's already someone else on the chopping block. Now, everyone's just waiting to see what else you two have to say. Being the one that solves the problem for the department would be a nice feather in your cap, but you'd probably be in charge of making sure it actually happens...

What do you do?

Either will give your whole department a different custom move, so if you want to get your way, try and work the room more, assuming you can't just get the other to agree with you (or at least back down).

Heliotrope
Aug 17, 2007

Oh, don't worry, don't worry!

It's not my blood.



Research +0, Sorcery +1, Charisma -1, Bureaucracy +2
XP: 1/5 | Burnout: 0 | Harm: None | Research: None

Hmmm. Could be cheating. Could just be a really good set of students. I'll keep that in mind. The rules are in the syllabus, they can't claim ignorance. But we'll have to wait I suppose. Because Bad Luck Sam wants to talk about a possible omen of his own. I pause for a moment, think, and then come to an idea.

"Sam, here's what we'll do. The Department has some texts we can go through, but first maybe a simple look into your future will give us some information?" I motion for him to follow. "See what's going on, and that should give us some idea of what topics to go through first." I pause the conversation at my door. "Come in, I have a visitor's seat." The clutter is a little less impressive but whatever. I know where things are. I sit down at my desk, pull out a drawer, and take a deck of Tarot cards out. "You know about these, right? Pretty basic. We'll see what we're dealing with first." As he sits down at the other end, I put the deck in between us. I motion to him. "Draw." Let's see what lies in Bad Luck Sam's future.

Trying to do a Sorcery roll but..
[00:27] <Heliotrope> !r 2d6+1
[00:27] <Krysmbot> Heliotrope, 4+1 = 5

Rauri
Jan 13, 2008




Research: +2 | Sorcery: +1 | Charisma: -1 | Bureaucracy: +0
Burnout: 0/10 | Harm: 0/2 | XP: 0/5 | Research: 3/6

What else would I need it for - to build stuff, of course! Still, no sense being rude right now... I wink at her, though since I only have the one eye uncovered it's hard to tell. "Oh, I just need it to construct a few experimental pieces for my research, I'll only need it for three six-hour blocks. Wouldn't mind getting on the schedule on a weekly basis, but we can discuss that later." Rising back to my feet and striding towards the door, I give her a lazy wave and a goodbye over the sound of the enchanted spurs I wear. "Thanks for letting me use it~"

Having accomplished my main goal, I get juuust out of range of her office... and then practically sprint back to mine, mind racing with possibilities now that I've eliminated a major impediment to continuing my work. The second I get back to it I'm pulling notes and diagrams and lab-books from every nook and cranny I've been able to fit them in in this tiny excuse for an office, throwing them on my desk and starting to draw up a list of everything I'll need, the order to build things in to utilize my limited time most effectively, etc. With the way I have things planned out, I should be able to bring everything I'll need into existence, with time to spare - being a World Class Alchemist really is amazing, not that anyone else in my department would know!

Reviewing my notes as part of things - my memory is close to, but not quite, eidetic - I'm already seeing interesting parallels between a few of my different ideas, and guess what? I have more time than when I was a TA, access to more and better resources, and instead of taking a half-dozen classes, I'm teaching a few sessions of the same (boring) one. The point is, even back then I was putting out some pretty groundbreaking stuff - now it's time for everyone to see what I can REALLY do.

Oh yeah, I should probably prepare for my class at some point today, but my priorities are in order, so I definitely just pay attention to what I have planned for my time with the Orichalum Forge. It's syllabus day anyways, nobody expects anything serious from me yet.

<Rauri> Calamity Delve Deeper
<Rauri> !r 2d6+2
<Krysmbot> Rauri, 8+2 = 10
Filling in three boxes on research track, this is Calamity's Time Consuming move for the week + is being performed in background for a lot of it.

Rauri fucked around with this message at Apr 4, 2017 around 08:52

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Research: +0 Sorcery: +1 Charisma: +2 Bureaucracy: -1
Burnout: 0 Harm: 0

"You know, Selene, I love your idea, and I don't think these are mutually exclusive. What say we work in your departmental occupation plan as a side effect of the classwork? Say, make sure the kids in reanimation parade their bodies through Gellar Hall, or, because as we all know, serpent based entrail reading works much better in the sunlight, we just start having class out on the quad in front of the doors to the Plantain Building so they can't actually leave their offices without walking through ankle deep piles of gore. Because we all know how terrible frosh are at making incisions, am I right?"

Schmooze and Work the L&D Faculty Room: 2d6+2 9

GodFish
Oct 10, 2012

We're your first, last, and only line of defense. We live in secret. We exist in shadow.

And we dress in black.


Selene Selendes (header to come)
Research +2 | Sorcery +1 | Bureaucracy + 0 | Charisma -1
Experience 0/5 | Burnout: 0 | Harm: 0

Normally I'd argue against any counter-suggestion to my idea on pure principle but... ugh, it's too early to think that hard, and combining the ideas does sound like a better suggestion anyway. After taking a long gulp of coffee to clear my head a little and see if I can spot any flaws. It doesn't result in shambling undead attacking a competing department - at least not intentionally - but knowing students it probably will, and it's amusing, if less viscerally satisfying. "I agree. It'll be a good w-use of the students time as well." I give her an ironic air toast of my thermos.

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I won a rosette in the Thunderdome



Research +1, Sorcery -1, Charisma 0, Bureaucracy +2
Burnout 0, Harm 0, XP 1/5

All right, breathe in. This isn't even hard. I've arranged the circle just so, and...

Oh, lord. Someone smudged the salt. I'm going to have to... God help me... improvise.

"This is a somewhat advanced technique," I say, withdrawing my penknife from my pocket and slashing my left palm open. "It's really not recommended, but in a pinch... well, it's better to know it than not. We'll cover blood sanctification in the second unit of the course." I set down my penknife and reinforce the characters in the summoning circle with the blood from my palm. Stay calm, this'll still work. Probably...

"Rise, Elamanzer!"

<Antivehicular> Abhilasha Casts a Spell
<Antivehicular> !r 2d6+1
<Krysmbot> Antivehicular, 7+1 = 8

Going with temporary and getting hurt, via, y'know, blood sacrifice and whatnot.

Capfalcon
Apr 6, 2012

No Boots on the Ground,
Puny Mortals!



Lisa Keller, the Slacker from Foresight, You perform your reading, and you get... wait... since when did your deck even HAVE three Tower cards? And they're all inverted? That... can't be right. You try again, and this time it's four inverted Towers.

He only DREW three cards.

If that reading is to be believed, it'd be a wonder if he'd make through the end of the week. But luck that bad HAS to be a curse. Problem is... you've got no idea who put it on him. But, thankfully, you've got an interdepartmental meeting this afternoon? Which department do you think would be the most help? What do you tell Sam, anyway?

Abhilasha Patil, The Fake from CABSA, YOUCH! Not the cut, of course, but the sudden draining of your very life force. No matter how often you do it, it's very much like going to a really, really bad bloodmobile.

Still, you get your spell off, and one puff of noxious smoke later, you see Elemanzer, the small, red imp poking the corners of the summoning circle. He realizes what's going on, as he's done this quite a number of times, and starts hamming it up, "Foolish mortal! You summon Elemanzer, He from the Ninth Pit and Keeper of Knowledge Profane and Wondrous. Speak, now, lest I grow tired of your slackjawed awe."

...Technically, he has a point. You did offer him some blood, so he does owe you a favor. He's literally not allowed to leave until you have him do something. You have anything in mind? Regardless of the favor, the class is duly impressed, and barring any weird occurances, you're safe from your class' curiosity.

Also, after class, what's your usual pick me up for a blood offering? Got to look better than half dead for the interdepartmental meeting this afternoon?

Annie Calamity, The Rockstar from Alchemy, after spending most of the morning designing the parts you're making this week, you see a slight problem. You've got enough raw materials to work for this week, but you'll be all out next week. you'll need a proper requisition order before you start work next week.

Also, what are you doing for the class you've got later today? And what about the upcoming interdepartmental meeting? Anyone you're going to be looking for?

Robin Claims, the Networker from Life and Death, and Selene Selendes, The Git from Life and Death while the rest of the faculty seems disappointed that they were denied their rhetorical bloodsport, Professor Highsmith seems pleased, "Yes! That's a wonderful idea. I'll be sure to point out to the dean that we're going to use the extra materials for extra hands on assignments. Good thinking."

Huh... that was easy. Painless, even.

"I'll expect updated lesson plans from everyone by the end of the week."

...Ah, there's the catch. You can both feel the rest of the department glaring daggers at you now. Some thanks for solving the department's problem, right? How are you planning on weaponizing your lessons against the other departments for the future? What do you think you'll have to skip this week so you can get the revised lesson plans done.

Also, what are you doing for the class you've got later today? And what about the upcoming interdepartmental meeting? Anyone you're going to be looking for?

All members of the Department of Life and Death can use the following move:
When you successfully teach a class, take a hold (max 3)
Spend a hold to do one of the following:
Schmooze without having to actually give someone from another department any payment
Scathe someone from another department, ignoring any leverage or authority they have.

When you spend a hold against a someone, take a -1 ongoing to Schmooze with members of that department until you make amends.


Everyone, you all end up at the same table for the interdepartmental meeting. Aren't assigned seats so much fun?

Fortunately, it is a luncheon. The Dean pulls out all the stops for these to make sure everyone actually attends, so there's always plenty of everyone's favorite food. What's yours?

But, before you can eat, the Dean, wearing the traditional face-concealing veils and the voluminous, figure concealing robes, takes the opportunity to address all of you, saying, "Fellow educators. I am continually impressed by how the staff of this incredible institution continues to surpass itself every year. I look around and I see so many brilliant minds, eager to start another year here at Pigsmoke."

He keeps going on and on about the wondrous research produced last year (Unlike at Glorystaff College). What'd you publish last year that he mentions from his frighteningly exact memory?

Finally, he wraps up by saying, "Again, from the students and myself, thank you for all the wonderful work you do to make sure that Pigsmoke remains a beacon of academic integrity and advancement."

Polite applause follows him back to his seat, and after a pause to verify that there isn't another speaker, everyone digs in!

What do you do?

Let me know if I missed anything.

Rauri
Jan 13, 2008




Research: +2 | Sorcery: +1 | Charisma: -1 | Bureaucracy: +0
Burnout: 0/10 | Harm: 0/2 | XP: 0/5 | Research: 3/6

Whatever, I've spent the majority of my life at this place, I'm no stranger to filling out forms. I need more materials, and luckily we have students with parents or loans that foot the bill. gently caress, I just now realized that I'm technically paying for it myself, if only to a bank and not to Pigsmoke itself - alchemy isn't cheap is the fundamental point I am going for here, whether it be the materials I need or the loans I will be paying off effectively forever at my current salary.

Still, with all that's going on? Hard to care too much right now about the needs of the future. There's so much to be done to prepare for my work, and then there's that interdepartmental meeting later, and after that my class... and eh, I'll deal with those when they arrive. From what I understand all the students think I'm the coolest professor to ever walk through the doors of this place (they are, strangely for undergrads, correct) - I could show them whatever I wanted and they'd praise it, though what I have planned is a refresher on the stages of alchemy and then getting each of them to show me the most impressive transmutation they can pull off. Good to get a baseline on everyone.

------------------------------------------

How'd I get stuck out here at the nosebleed table? This is bullshit! The only thing saving this meeting is the food - there's an entire section of the buffet dedicated to Southern cuisine, including so much barbecue that I am literally scheming up how to access it while the Dean talks to all of us - more for fun than actually considering it, I'm reckless but not suicidal. After all, the thing's a genius - it even mentions my Doctoral Thesis, aka when I proved that its possible to routinely transmute dissimilar materials via the expenditure of calories. It's how my gloves work - cloth to functioning revolvers isn't exactly a standard maneuver, and despite my proof on the matter being out there for all to see, it remains as such. Nice to hear it mentioned though, since technically it wasn't published in a journal, unlike the other professors here. Cost of being young and brilliant, I guess.

Regardless, finally freed to access the buffet, I help myself to it first. Plate loaded up with ribs and beans and a corn on the cob and a sourdough biscuit, I'm ready to tuck into my food, but probably best to get a conversation going. After all, I've had half the professors at this table as instructors before - sort of weird to be sitting here with them, and I'm sure several of them are annoyed by my presence (probably out of jealousy). As such, food and coffee waiting in front of me, I give the table a grin, winking / blinking my only visible eye. "Guessing a lot of you never expected to see me here, hah? Still, nice to be among the faculty!"

Might as well get some data out of them too, while I'm at things. "So who's taught a class so far today? Students as tired as everyone here seems to be, or are they restless?" Adjusting my coat, then my hat, I grin a little bit. "I spent all morning on some truly groundbreaking stuff, but I suppose I actually have to teach people now that I'm a Professor~"

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Research: +0 Sorcery: +1 Charisma: +2 Bureaucracy: -1
Burnout: 0 Harm: 0

Ah, my my my. More paperwork. Well, a few extra numbers added to each column on the syllabus should take care of that. The way some folks are reacting, you'd think they didn't want free things. Such strange priorities, my fellow professors. And if anything can keep Lina, err, Professor Highsmith from killing her way through our comrades in arms, all the better.

So, class. Necro 101. Good kids. Have to remind them not to stare into the portal. Which they always do. No matter how entertaining I try to be, there's always a few who doze off and end up staring at the big, spinning, hypnotic pattern. And then they get salty when they're made an example of when they find their bodies used for demonstrations of puppetry, because they've put themselves out of body, and can't find a way back in. It's all in good fun, and, honestly, I'm not sure how much clearer it can be. It says in 16 pt bold font, right across the top of the syllabus, even before it starts talking about the class overview:

"Do Not Stare Into The Portal. This Is Not A Joke. Permanent Harm And Death May Result."

so, honestly, I don't think I'm at fault here. It's a good lesson in why you need to pay attention to the rules and your surroundings before any work.

Teach!: 2d6+2 14
1 Hold, +1 XP

And, since I'm the greatest teacher to have ever graced these halls, everything goes swimmingly this lecture. They even laughed at my jokes! That never happens.

---------------

But, such good moods just aren't meant to last. I'm, of course, placed next to the quite boisterous Dr. Jones, Annie, who keeps knocking me in the side of the head with her ostentatiously large hat, and who's pile of ribs it's quite tempting to make dance. It's not that I don't like her, it's just that when one is trying to enjoy a simple tuna steak, braised vegetables, a mug of ginger root tea, and a glass of port, having an excitable cowgirl shoveling beans into her maw with a runcible spoon while extolling her own virtues, and elbowing you hard enough to make your hair fall out of its bun... I don't know whether I want to slug her or kiss her. Confusing, mixed feelings, there.

It's nice of the Dean to mention my work on the Telossian roots of Neo-Pergamatorianal Cyclopean Rituals of Thellosanese and its Application to Modern Day Skelto-muscular Animatory Regulation. Almost no one gets the title right, and just call it "That Bone Thing You Published Last Year". It was a bit more complicated than that, and it's why my skeleton army looks much nicer than my colleagues'.

"Oh, they were a bit restless, but as usual, the Portal taught them not to daydream incautiously. I think Quentin Robb is going to be stocking up on very strong coffee from now on, lest Mildred Verts turn him into the centerpiece for her turbofolk choreography a second time."

A discrete bite. A sip. "What are you working on, Anne?" A smile. My full attention.

Toph Bei Fong fucked around with this message at Apr 17, 2017 around 21:42

Heliotrope
Aug 17, 2007

Oh, don't worry, don't worry!

It's not my blood.



Research +0, Sorcery +1, Charisma -1, Bureaucracy +2
XP: 1/5 | Burnout: 0 | Harm: None | Research: None

"Well you certainly have changes coming into your life," I tell Sam while trying to keep a good poker face. This is pretty bad. There could be tons of reasons for someone to put a curse like this on him, and I'm not sure what other departments could help. Calling, Binding, and Sealing Away might be able to find something that has the knowledge but I'm not too keen on making deals with what they bring in. The other option is someone else from Foresight, but who? Then a better idea comes to mind. "If you come across anything that seems like it could help, let me know" I say to Sam. I can just make something like that appear in his life after all. A lot easier then the other options too.

But I can't do that right now, there's the interdepartmental meeting to go to. My meal of choice is a simple cheeseburger. Well, a simple cheeseburger with just lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mustard, peppers, mushrooms, mayo, bacon, cheese sauce, a little bit of peanut butter, a fried egg, and some avocado. And a beer to go with it. As I'm preparing my lunch I hear the Dean talking about various papers Pigsmoke has had published. They mention one of mine, the paper on Readings of the Future and Paradoxes. If you want the short version it's basically "Don't worry too much about it." Some of the department thought it was a bad idea but I didn't see any of their papers refuting it get published. Besides, trying to force the situation to conform to what you saw will happen is like struggling in quicksand - the more you fight it, the worse the situation gets.

Sitting next to me is Abhilasha Patil from CABSA. "Hey Abhi," I say while cracking open the beer. "Anything interesting going on in your department?" I doubt her answer will help with Bad Luck Sam's situation but it can't hurt to ask.

Heliotrope fucked around with this message at Apr 18, 2017 around 05:04

GodFish
Oct 10, 2012

We're your first, last, and only line of defense. We live in secret. We exist in shadow.

And we dress in black.


Selene Selendes (header to come)
Research +2 | Sorcery +1 | Bureaucracy + 0 | Charisma -1
Experience 0/5 | Burnout: 0 | Harm: 0

Bahh, that's a good chunk of my best research time gone. I won't be getting up earlier for anything short of these worthless meetings or the end of the world, so revising my lesson plans will cut into the best necromantic hours of the day. What a waste of my time, and right when I'd found an excellent new corpse to be working on, the body is dead, while still having some functions of life - twitching fingers, occasional eye movements. Bodies shift all the time as they settle into death, but I've never seen one like this, and they're absolutely dead, I performed rigorous testing, and, let us be honest here, people tend to die when their heads are disconnected from their body. Still, what a potential source of information. But no. Lesson plans. I push my glasses further up my nose, letting the light in the room reflect off of them, effectively signaling my blocking out of my co-worker's glares at the same time. Like I care.

---

Class.

"Post Mortem Communications, 101. Welcome, welcome, today we shall be working on the very basics of this art, animating a lifeless body. Now, possessing the body with a spirit of the dead will give it intelligence - and if done properly obedience - however, that is not the basics. You will be animating it purely with magic and your own will. If the ritual fails, due to insufficient talent or concentration, the fault is entirely your own, but the consequences should be nothing more than a headache, though I have seen some split open in the past, for exceptionally dim students. The instructions are on the monolith board," I give the towering black slab behind me a tap with my fingerbone (originally someone else's) and the writing scratches itself into view with dull screeching, outlining a list of steps, ingredients and the ritual words. "you have one hour, begin."

[22:06:31] <GodFish> teach class
[22:06:43] <ShootaBoy> rip erica
[22:06:49] <ShootaBoy> her empire crumbles!
[22:06:50] <GodFish> !r 2d6-1
[22:06:52] <Krysmbot> GodFish, 5-1 = 4


Of course just because the spell we're doing won't animate a body with a mind of it's own, that doesn't mean the incompetents we have to teach can't manage to muck it up badly enough to do so themselves.

--

Sigh. At least I don't have to clean it up, because I'm stuck in this staff meeting. I will admit to being a bit surprised that The Dean mentioned by personal favorite paper of the last year, A Treaties on the Animation and Sentience of Dismembered Body Parts. Yes, it's a bit specialized, but you'd be amazed at how many so called professional necromancers can't preserve and animate a severed hand and make it intelligent enough to play the piano - at least with any amount of skill. My work endeavored to fix that. I wouldn't have expected a niche piece like that to attract his attention, I had more impressive papers, but like I said, it was my favorite.

Speech done, I send a specter off to bring some food and turn to my two nearest dining companions. Discussing classes, my 'esteemed' colleague Robin Claims and ... "Ahh, Professor... Ca-la-mi-ty." Each syllable pronounced with precise care, not a trace of sarcasm in the tone - that itself a sign of tremendous irony. All at once my words go back to be swift and normal, "Several of my students are quite restful today, as is often the case with in-experienced necromancers. The grave is very restful - at least when more of us aren't around."

Rauri
Jan 13, 2008




Research: +2 | Sorcery: +1 | Charisma: -1 | Bureaucracy: +0
Burnout: 0/10 | Harm: 0/2 | XP: 0/5 | Research: 3/6

Oh drat, Robin showed off The Portal on her students' first day? Those poor bastards - that thing is creepy. Really glad I never have to take her class again, that's for sure - she's a good instructor, she's just a little too Necromancy about it. "I'm working on-" And there's Professor - er, I mean, Selene. I'm definitely not scared of her, despite her constant best efforts. Seriously, the students in my year knew she only stays on here since it lets her terrorize others without reprisal, I'm sure her current classes do too. "Glad to hear both your classes were so easy! Any tips?"

If she offers any, I'm not super listening - digging into my food like a woman that burns more calories thinking than everyone else at this school does while pretending to do so while actually just bumbling about, I'm downright starving and this free meal is a chance to fix that. Taking a deep sip from my coffee cup between bites into my meal, I snap my fingers and clean all the wing sauce off my gloves and face with hardly a second thought - I am among peers after all, if only by technicality.

"I'm working on SO many things!" I exclaim to Robin and Selene, glancing at where I wrote things down on my wrist to make sure I'm keeping track - my mind runs at several thousand miles a minute, my mouth can't always keep up. "But right now I'm just spending my annual budget within a week engineering components so I can further my research on Alchemical Tattoo Transmutations, Infinite Engines, etc." I literally cannot explain my research to the people here, they're too dim. "You'd be dismayed how little I have to work with, given what you both know of me and my potential, I'm sure~"

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I won a rosette in the Thunderdome



Research +1, Sorcery -1, Charisma 0, Bureaucracy +2
Burnout 0, Harm 0, XP 1/5

"Great Elemanzer," I intone as seriously as I can manage, "I request of you a boon -- two lists, one of the students in this class who will read their syllabus in a timely manner, and one of the students who will not!" Yes, it's very silly, but it's the sort of thing that comes in handy for when I start getting frantic emails halfway through the semester, and it keeps them on their toes. Hopefully. Once he's dismissed, I turn back to the class. "This sort of request is known as a Minor Order of Precognition and is a major point of utility for imp summonings. Now, then, about that syllabus..."

Once they're suitably disposed of, I step outside to bandage my hand thoroughly, with a slathering of antibiotic. Thankfully, the blood offerings are common enough that the departmental first-aid kit stays well-stocked; after all, it's not worth bothering the infirmary with this, is there? (The cure worse than the disease, and all that.) After that, I head back to my desk, where I keep a few necessities for this sort of thing in my briefcase. First, I have a few pieces of mutton jerky: not enough to ruin lunch, but enough to add a little iron, in case the red-meat offerings at the meeting are lacking. After that, and wiping my hands, I slip on a pair of long black silk gloves. Gloves are one of the prime affectations of wizarding academia, even in otherwise mundane clothing... and more to the point, they cover bandages quite nicely. I won't necessarily have to answer a lot of questions.

Now, then. It's time for lunch.

----

Predictable as it may be, I help myself to three tandoori lamb kebabs along with the usual assortment of salad and bread. Someone in the Pigsmoke kitchen actually knows how to work a tandoor and buys good lamb, not the thoroughly adequate but underwhelming cuts that my salary can afford. (Not that I own a tandoor, or can operate my apartment's electric range to the level of competency that would imply I should invest in another oven; lamb this grade would probably be wasted on me as a cook. But not as a consumer.) For ritual cleanliness and symbolism reinforcement, there's nothing like lamb.

There's nothing symbolic about the bell pepper slices and cauliflower florets from the vegetable plate. I just like them, and nobody else ever makes a dent, so they won't mind me taking more than my fair share.

I'm chewing on a cauliflower floret when the Dean mentions my latest paper, a review of Celestial Powers willing to serve in demon-abjuration and their standard working terms. It was about half original research and half verification of literature review, but facts like this have an uncomfortable habit of ending up buried in tomes in Special Collections, instead of clearly cross-referenceable. Besides, having a current publication with relevant practical information is a fantastic way to increase your citation values past what the scholarly value of the work would potentially indicate. It's not my most novel creation, but my field doesn't always run on novelty, so I'm pleased to see it noted and recognized. Even workaday papers feel important at this stage of my career.

As I return my attention to lunch, the person next to me speaks up -- it's Lisa Keller from Foresight, whom I recall as pleasant enough, even if her lunch is some sort of unholy monstrosity. "Oh, nothing interesting," I reply. "Unless any of the 300-levels managed to get their souls devoured and I didn't get the email yet, but thus far, it's easy enough. How was Foresight? No surprises, I assume?" That's almost a joke, and I let myself smile. "... ah, forgive me. You must hear that a lot."

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Research: +0 Sorcery: +1 Charisma: +2 Bureaucracy: -1
Burnout: 0 Harm: 0 XP: 1/5 Research: 0/6

"Oh, sounds fascinating," I reply at her vague answer, delicately forking a carrot into my mouth. "Budget constraints are always a bit of a downer, aren't they? It always seemed like we had more than we knew what to do with back when you were on the other side, eh?"

It's nice to see she hasn't lost any of the enthusiasm she had back when she was in my class. Even back before the cowboy thing she was always the one who couldn't keep her hand down, and who you'd end up discussing things that weren't in the assigned reading because she'd done not only that, but also the counter reading, the counter counter arguments to that, and the counter counter counter arguments, synthesized with her own theories. A fun kid, but terrible for 101 classes. And she always thought I was a woman, which was a source of no little hilarity. Why correct her? I could care less about pronoun usage, to be honest. Transgression of norms just makes the magic work better, as Dr. Poppins used to say. But it's fun to see her enthusiasm, even if comes packaged alongside her ego.

"Infinity engines? Rather up my alley. You should tell me all about it over a pint sometime. I've had a skeleton turning a crank in the basement for a couple years now and it's showing no signs of slowing down. It's just running a pinball machine right now, but, hey? Wouldn't want to lose my high score. Perpetual motion? Well, it's close enough for government work."

Heliotrope
Aug 17, 2007

Oh, don't worry, don't worry!

It's not my blood.



Research +0, Sorcery +1, Charisma -1, Bureaucracy +2
XP: 1/5 | Burnout: 0 | Harm: None | Research: None

I bite down into my burger, tasting all the flavors combine into one great big sensation. I swallow, and chase it with a sip of beer. "Well actually I did have a class earlier today. But that's part of dealing with the study of Foresight - sometimes you gotta adapt to unexpected things popping up." Like a student having a horrific curse put upon him by someone at this school. "You sure nothing's come up on your end? Lot of weird things are going to be happening this year at Pigsmoke you know."

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I won a rosette in the Thunderdome



Research +1, Sorcery -1, Charisma 0, Bureaucracy +2
Burnout 0, Harm 0, XP 1/5

"A... surprise class? And the students actually showed up? There's a shocker for you," I say, before biting into a slice of bell pepper and chewing thoughtfully. "... really, nothing's come up so far. Are you expecting something to come up?"

Capfalcon
Apr 6, 2012

No Boots on the Ground,
Puny Mortals!



Abhilasha Patil, The Fake from CABSA, in his haughtiest tone (which, considering imps are basically defined with egos outstripping their abilities, is pretty haughty), Elemanzer says, "I judge your sacrifice to be... sufficient. Very well. As an example of my magnanimity, I shall grant your request. Behold!" A flash of flame from both hands condences into a pair of scrolls. He lays them on the ground within the circle, and says, "I have completed your task. I bid you farewell."

Another gout of flame, and he's gone. After checking to make sure that he's ACTUALLY gone (far too many wizards have been fooled by a mere invisibility spell), you retrieve the lists without any problems. What did you put in the syllabus to check if they actually read it?

Robin Claims, the Networker from Life and Death, shockingly, no one actually looked in the portal. You even manage to get a little bit of work out of them without them realizing it. It must be nice to be that good at teaching.

Selene Selendes, The Git from Life and Death, it's fascinating, isn't it? How every class somehow fails to meet your increasingly low expectations of them. Not only did NO ONE (aside from Mrs. Washington of course) manage to make their cadavar so much as twitch under its own power, half of them overloaded the corpses with energy, causing a chain reaction that made most of the corpses in the room explode in an eruption of gore. So, you've got to get that cleaned up by the end of the day. Somehow.

Otherwise, your new department head is going to have you in even earlier than you were this morning to explain yourself (and give you a point of burnout to boot).

___________________________________

Everyone, after the speech ends, a few department heads start making the rounds.

Abhilasha, Professor Amenhotep is sitting at the table with all of you. He doesn't need to eat, strictly speaking, but he appears to be enjoying it with gusto. Between mouthfuls, he says, "By the way, Patil. Do you have some free time this week. I'm looking for a hand on some angelic hiarchies for a paper, and the whole department knows you're on extraordinarily good terms with Pravuil." He sighs, adding, "Angelic research is so much more tedious than Infernal. They never want anything simple, like money or blood offerings. It's all meditation and charity."

What do you do?

Lisa, so, you going to get some help from Patil or not? Or maybe someone else in the CASBA department? Clock's ticking, you know.

What do you do?

Robin, the whole faculty gathered in one place for some forced mingling. This is basically heaven for you, right? Who do you want to chat up that isn't at the table? What makes them so appealing to you?

Annie, it really is tragic to be a misunderstood genius. Ah well. Speaking of misunderstandings, you hear Professor Marigold (she of the supposed Perpetual Creation Machine) offer Professor Torus a co-authorship on a paper about her Perpetual Creation Machine. While normally it'd be infuriating that she's not talking to the brightest mind in the department (if not the school), you do have to wonder... those rumors are pretty weird about that machine of hers. Are you sure you'd even want to see it?

What do you do?

Selene, you're... pretty sure Professor Highsmith isn't looking for you now. Or at least you were before you saw Professor Beerbohm gleefully talking to her about something. The looks he keeps throwing you... don't leave a lot to the imagination as to what he could be talking to her about. He's about to rat you out.

What do you do?

Also, Everyone tell me. What (other than research) is your number one goal for the semester? You know, the thing that's going to really stand out on your tenure application?

Heliotrope
Aug 17, 2007

Oh, don't worry, don't worry!

It's not my blood.



Research +0, Sorcery +1, Charisma -1, Bureaucracy +2
XP: 1/5 | Burnout: 0 | Harm: None | Research: None | Fatespinner Hold: 1

"Well I mean they surprised me by having the class earlier then I expected but yeah. Anyway I kind of am expecting something to come up." I hesitate for a moment. Do I really want to get involved in making deals with the infernal beings in communication with CASBA? Well, it might not be too bad. I don't know much about them but I did study here - I could probably get by with that knowledge. But 'getting by' might be dangerous here. Hmm...well, if there's anyone from the department I'd go with, Abhi is the one. But do I want to let it out what's going on? I would but what if it's not a curse by a student but by a teacher? Don't know why that would be but it'd be good not to let it be known I'm looking for them. Unless it's someone from Foresight in which case they probably already know, but what are you going to do?

But it seems like Amen is asking her about something, so I'll just wait. And while I do, maybe I can see what I can do about Sam's future. I take a pitcher of water and a nearby bowl. Pouring the water in, I focus and think of Sam. The student with the terrible luck. Sam. I stir the water with my finger, and stare into it. I can see it slowly beginning to show me his future - started still and suddenly it's rippling like crazy every now and then - that must be his luck making some kind of impact. I pause, my hand above the bowl, and think of his future. Then I put my finger in and start...changing it.

[02:03] <Heliotrope> Fatespinner
[02:03] <Heliotrope> !r 2d6+2
[02:03] <Krysmbot> Heliotrope, 8+2 = 10
I gain 3 Hold


Sam is at the library. He is being very careful around the books. But...it looks like (and here I alter the surface of the water) he stumbles and knocks a book out of the shelf. A book on curses, and it just so happens to land open on something relevant to his current situation.

Spending 1 Hold to make an object meant for Sam's destiny enter the story

I put a few additional drops of water into the bowl. Sam remembers what I told him earlier. He takes the book and checks it out, then sits at a nearby chair and begins reading it. He'll come to my office soon.

Spending another Hold to make Sam make a decision that brings him closer to his destiny

I still have some control over his destiny. But that should do it for now. I can change something else later if needed.

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Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Research: +0 Sorcery: +1 Charisma: +2 Bureaucracy: -1
Burnout: 0 Harm: 0 XP: 1/5 Research: 0/6

Oh yes, this truly is paradise. Access to anyone and everyone, free to mill about as I please... I really can't understand why most folks don't enjoy this.

Who I'm mainly looking for is Dr. Wears-the-Blood-of-Men, but instead it seems that Professor Lovelace is eager to talk. I wanted to see if Freydis had a spare moment sometime to chat about skeletal bonding, because on some of the newer ones I've animated there's an annoying creek in the knee couplings that I haven't quite been able to work out -- it isn't in any of my older ones, but it's also on more than one frame, so I don't think it's just one skeleton having weird knee bones. And it's great that we have so much in common. I always thought she was a bit scary, but now that I know we're both pretty similar when you really get down to it, I've been looking forward to getting to know her better.

But, then there's Vivian. She's... Well, you know that I don't like saying things about people, but she's a snob. Yes, both my parents and my grandparents going far far back were all practitioners of the arts. But that's rather like being a police officer in a family of cops, or an accountant in a family of accountants, isn't it? My brother is a dentist, and not a magical one either. Just the regular picks and mirrors and drills type. But it's important to not be mean to people, especially those who've been here longer than you, because who knows what they might be able to do for you down the line? No sense in burning any bridges unless they set themselves on fire.

And she might not be bad to get closer to either, given her knowledge of revivification. See, the weird thing is that necromancy gets this rep as being all spooky and impractical. Like, "Ohh, I'm going to build a big chair out of skulls and wear a dark hood and speak in a husky Batman voice all the time! And all I'm going to do is continue to fail to take over one stupid little village because I'm no good at fighting and my skeletons are totally uncoordinated because I think they don't need any work after being pulled right out the ground!" Maybe that was all well and good a couple hundred years ago when you were trying to scare a farmer into giving you a goat or something, but, you know, I've got ideas that go a little further than that.

You know that skeleton turning the crank that I mentioned earlier? Well, skeletons are stupid, no one is disputing that. But they're clean. And once you get them trained in what they need to do, they do it pretty well. Forever. Without pay. Without complaint. Without breaking down. So, why not use them to do all the dumb dangerous or messy jobs around that no one else wants to do? Skeleton garbagemen, skeleton crop pickers, skeleton bomb disposal units... The possibilities are as endless as the supplies for making them! Heck, if I can find a way to hook that crank into a battery, maybe get it powering an entire room or house or something? A skeleton in every basement. Literal fossil fuel! Ha, I crack myself up sometimes.

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