Finishing the Semester

Finally back at school after that horror show of a fall break. It seems strange to be wandering the halls and going to classes. What are we even doing here? Everything is chaos, and here we sit, learning about math and history. Oh history. We’ve got a new teacher, and he just makes fun of all the “rich kids” in the class. Klyce seems much happier with this, at least. I just tuck in low and try to avoid notice as much as possible – it’s just like every other class now.

A lot of the upperclassmen have volunteered for the war, so the halls are a bit more empty now. Maribeth talked to her brother before she left, and then moved into my dorm room. She says he was probably involved in the mana ring, and he said she should stay close to me. I don’t think his motives are good, but I do trust Maribeth.

Someone left Dalish unattended and he told Malden all about the spellbook we found. Everyone but Klyce got really mad at him, but Malden only took out the Dominate Person spell and gave everyone the paper and ink they need to get all the spells, so I don’t see what the big deal is. Everyone knows Dalish can’t lie to save his life.

After all the fights we had at Nat’s place, and with a war looming, I give into the peer pressure and start getting up early with everoyone else for extra physical training. I’m not so sure about this crossbow anymore, not after what it nearly did to Remy, so the boys start teaching me to use a staff instead.

Klyce wants to go spell hunting one last time, so we head to the stables. When we tell the servires why we’re there, they all leave in a huff. Dalish notices some conjuration magic in one corner, so we mess around with water buckets, feedbags, and a horse, but we can’t get anything to happen.

Looking over the horse, Dalish notices something odd about the teeth, and with my help to keep it calm, sees that there are runes on its teeth and writes them out. Maribeth looks at the bridle and notices some similar runes. Looking over the tack, we notice bits of runs on different pieces of each set. Apparently, I’m the only one who knows anything about horses, so I set to work dismantling the sets and create a single set with all the runes and kit up the rune-teethed horse.

Nothing happens, so Remy casts his detect and sees that it’s an illusion spell of some sort, and putting it all together has created a unified aura. Looking around, he also notices the conjuration in the corner is an unseen servant like he has, so we leave that one be for now. We try riding around on the horse. We try casting an illusion on the horse. Nothing works.

Looking around the stable a bit more, I notice there’s a stall with runes inside it, too. So, I lead the horse in, with Remy nearby. The horse screams in pain and its leg buckles. With help, I quickly get it back out of the stall and unbridled. Gerhardt rushes over with healing potions to help, noting a lot of scratches around where the saddle and reins were. While we’re helping the horse, someone grabs all the kit and puts it in the stall. Phantom Steed appears in the air and they all hurry to copy it down. When the servires come rushing at the sound of screams we glare at them and they wander off again, but we’re done for now anyway. I fear for that horse, even though we saved it. There are only two left in the stables.

Something is wrong with Remy, but it takes him awhile to tell us. We all gather up in the dorms. Remy tells us that Professor Garian has been taking him down to the catacombs and making him use a machine that conjures weird mana beings, like the ones we fought around here. The machine then drains them, screaming, of all their mana, collecting it to fill the Fountain. Garian wants to roll out this method of collecting mana to the entire country. He is also using it for personal gain, juicing himself with mana, trying to become a god? Remy says one of these creatures killed the guy in his head, the memories the wierd gods gave him.

We all argue about whether the creatures are “real” or not. Whether they are just manifestations of mana that somehow hold more mana than was used to create them, or whether they are real, live, sentient beings. We talk about how all the ones we’ve seen have been trying to kill us, so why shouldn’t we kill them first. We talk about the gate the ones under Philomena’s house were trying to open.

Once again we consider just walking away, it’s none of our business. Klyce says Remy should walk away, too. I’m worried that he won’t be able to, that something bad will happen to him if he tries. Then the suggestions go off the rails. Destroy the machine. Kill Garian. What if it’s worth it. Maribeth wonders if her brother knew about the machine. He’s gone now, but not all his friends are. Klyce wants to talk to them, find out what they know.

Nat wants to help Remy learn more about his memory man, so they share the tea her Baba gave her. I sit with them, to make sure they wake up. Remy says people in his dream worshipped the Tempest, and we’ve been at war with these creatures for a very long time. I stop listening at this point, distracted by what my dreams could mean in this context.

She approaches, Shining as the Sun

She approaches, Burning as the Sun…

Fire … Destruction

Death … Rebirth

World Without End

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