That was crazy and we are all hurt and exhausted. Several of the guys have overcharged repeatedly. We take turns watching the tunnel and sleep for what we hope is the night. Gerhardt sets up an alarm spell to warn us, but nothing comes. Eventually we all, including James, wake up.
He doesn’t remember anything, though. Not getting kidnapped, not being down here, nothing. Some of the guys take things from the piles and piles of stolen objects. Dalish checks his drawings, to try to show one to James, but the pages are blank. So, from memory, he redraws the creature and the circle. James still doesn’t remember, and we head out, it’s almost breakfast time.
Nothing attacks us as we make our way up to Professor Raltis in the Nursing station. Raltis asks what happened and we try to explain, but he doesn’t believe us one bit. Especially when he calls some Survyers and they go look and don’t find the tunnel. I don’t trust those things one bit.
At Fundaments class, Dalish tries again with Professor Malten. He has to redraw the creature, again, and Malten says it’s a Grumpkin, a fairytale creature. He keeps explaining and has to draw the circle again, too. When he tells him about the mist monsters, and I speak the language to him, he starts to really believe us. He says they were probably manifestations of mana with a conjuration spell. He says it is highly unusual and we shouldn’t talk about it with other people. Nat draws him a map to the place we found and we move on.
Today, we learn more about the properties of mana. Turns out it only has the mass you expect it to – mana is entirely reactive to the mages near it or in possession of it. Mana subscribes to consensus reality, its only qualities are change and impermanence. Today, I learn that I can, in fact, take control of mana, even though I can’t use it. That could come in very handy.
<time passes> We keep working on spells. I practice Catapulting sanctuary balls. Klyce organizes spell scavenger hunts. I convince Nat and Maribeth to come out to a nice lunch on the first weekend. Nat has a minor meltdown about betraying his family for magic. Seems he’s being pulled away from their traditional necormancy into divination type spells. Not sure why this is Our fault, he’s the one with the talent. </time passes>
One afternoon, we head to a lavatory to look for spells as a group. First we try turning on all the hot faucets, which fogs up the mirrors. Dalish really wants to learn Fog Cloud, and notices the fogged up mirrors say we should go to the obstacle course before dawn. The boys all decide to flush all the toilets at once to see what happens. Dalish casts detect magic and sees a spell trying to happen, but it’s incomplete. One of them passes gas, and it helps, but not enough. So Klyce orders everyone to go eat beans for dinner and come back.
This increase in gas does make Stinking Cloud appear on the stall doors. Luckily, I’ve stayed at the door as lookout while they do this since I can’t learn spells this way. Then they all use the toilets and flush and get an even stranger reaction. The bottom of the toilets became black holes. Nat drops a light down his and sees nothing. Klyce sticks his hand in, and it just feels cold and empty, so he jumps in. They all get Rope Trick and Deep Pockets. So unfair! I wanted to be a mage more than most of them. I got magic, but not the right kind!
The next morning we all get up with Klyce and head out to the obstacle course and start looking around. Dalish looks for magic and noticing it following Klyce as he actually runs the course. When he finishes he sees spells and tells everyone else to run it, too. We all do, and they all get Fog Cloud. Those that run it fast get Jump, as well. I already have that one, at least, though I fall repeatedly and see no spells when I get to the end.
A few days later, Dalish gathers the group and tells us that James heard rumors about ilicit dealings and Upperclassmen and Philomena and Garrett. He says the next drop is Saturday. We discuss following them and staking out the deal. Some are worried about getting caught. Would they attack us? This doesn’t seem a place that would care if a couple first years got killed.
Wait, what? Remy says he’s okay with killing people in self-defense. WHAT? No! I’m Not Killing anyone! Klyce cuts him off and says we’re not killing anyone, if we are spotted, we run. Maribeth says she won’t be involved, she can’t be involved. I’m okay with that, I’m not sure I want to be, only I really don’t like Philomena. Klyce and Remy, however, keep pushing and won’t let it drop. Maribeth says that her family has business dealing with their families, so she can’t be involved in anything that might get them in trouble. They finally leave her alone.
On Saturday, we stake out locations and wait. I watch them leave the main building and call everyone else. We follow them down the forest line and watch from a distance while they wait at the wall. Remy sends his little lizard to sneak up on them and listen in. It is quite a while before some larger figures approach. Three students? and two survyers. The people give over a vial to the creepy things and they go away. A signpost suddenly appears on the lawn where the students stop, then four jugs, which get catapulted over the wall. A crossbow bolt then hits the sign with something wrapped around it. They take it and go back to the school. Philomena and Garrett wait a bit then sneak back, too. We wait a bit longer and then head back ourselves.
Now what?? Do we tell someone? Professor Malten? We have no proof, we don’t even know who they are. What if we watch the fountain for someone taking large amounts? I wonder if there’s a safer place to spy from, but none of the school buildings have a view of where the jugs are tossed from. Remy wants to ask hypothetical questions about stealing and selling mana, but most of us think it’ll make us look guilty. We all agree to keep an eye on Philomena, Garrett, and the people they talk to, as well as the mana pool.