Kalaeny's School for Gifted Young Children

Achlys' Journal - 2
A Crazy Old Man

Well this weekend was rather odd. Started normal enough, went to Central Plaza to buy some things. Managed to get some clothes that actually fit me for a change, although they are nothing fancy. Man, having gold is great. Met Ari there as well. She had the same idea as me, spending our hard-earned gold. She was looking for clothes of a higher quality though, couldn’t help much in that regard. Went home after that to continue training and studying, can’t afford to fall behind.

Sunday was an entirely different matter. Got up early to start making my introduction brownies when I saw a commotion outside. Dad was heading out when he was attacked by a bird monster thing. I wasn’t just going to stand idly by and watch that monster attack my dad so I rushed out to assist. That may have been an error of judgement. I tried to cast a spell on it but the magic just gave out around it. Some form of innate magical resistance? It then turned its attention to me. Thankfully Dad was there to throw a magical bolt at it to stop it flying away with me. It then turned tail and fled. After a few moments of bewilderment, we all went back to normal and I finished making my brownies (delicious as always). Then it came back, with a note. Apparently, it was sent by Viscardi’s grandad to pick me up. I figured at this point it’d be best to go along with it just to avoid another scene like before. Not to mention I was curious as to what the hell was going on.

Didn’t take long to arrive at Viscardi’s house. Bigger than my house (although that’s hardly an achievement) but pretty run down. I guess antipaladins aren’t big on the whole “house maintenance” thing. Inside was Ari, Viscardi and a very elderly Drow that I assumed was his grandfather. The old man seemed rather enthusiastic and was asking us about who we were, what we did, how we were getting on and so forth. It could’ve been rather nice if we weren’t essentially kidnapped and the bird monster wasn’t in the room. It was also at this point Viscardi presented me with a bell. A bell. Am I a cat or something? To his credit it was purely out of concern for me, he was rather worried about an incident similar to the orphanage happening again. Still in two minds about it, although I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say it was thoughtful. I was pretty angry at the time but that had more to do with the kidnapping. Then I saw Dad. He’d followed us via shadow projection. I always thought that was so cool, can’t wait until I can do it myself. Unsurprisingly Dad was not best pleased about the kidnapping and said he’d be back later. The crazy old man, satisfied with our answers let us go and we walked Ari back to her parents. They were rather worried, which wasn’t helped by Ari suddenly acting panicked once she saw them. The look on Viscardi’s face was hilarious. Nice parents though, seem to really care and do their best. After that Viscardi and I rushed back to the Blackwood home to get my dad. There was a… difference in opinion on whether abduction via bird monster was acceptable conduct. Things looked like they were about to kick off when Viscardi managed calm things down a little and get my dad to leave. Dad wasn’t terribly happy about the entire incident or the fact I was friends with an antipaladin. I keep trying to tell him Viscardi isn’t an insane lunatic like the rest of his family (apparently his granddad is one of the saner members of the family) but doesn’t seem to help any. All in all, it was certainly an interesting day.

Monday went pretty well. My brownie introduction strategy worked great and I met most of my classmates. Even met someone in the other class. A boy by the name of Suwek. A bit moody but he knows sign! I may have given him more brownies than anyone else (encouragement for everyone else) and had a nice time chatting with him. Ended up with an invitation to his house. Wouldn’t mind another study partner, especially one whose family has their own library. Have to give heads up apparently, something about his family being preoccupied with “security”. I guess I’ll ask if Thursday is okay. I’ll be working my new job Tuesday and Wednesday.

Nothing much else happened. Ms Borghaki was absent today so the librarian took the class. Asked him if he found anything about my mark. Nothing yet but he says he’ll tell me if he finds anything. As for PE itself Averandus and Viscardi were at it again. This time both toting magic weapons. I am somewhat concerned at this rate of escalation. Viscardi won, barely.

One final note, Millbit is scary and boring.

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Viscardi's Secret "Ciphered" Journal - Entry Four
Granddad

Heading home from the orphanage I mentioned to the others that I was going to Dragons Bazar later but it seems they didn't want to meet up. Which is fine, I guess. At home dad had met a friend of his. An old adventuring buddy. It was weird to see him happy, I guess he probably isn't too happy about mum and I technically tying him down. Even had food prepared although I usually prefer to go without. Although he did mention that granddad was coming to look after me as he and mum were both going to be gone. I have mixed feelings about Granddad Blackwood. On the one hand he was a Royal Guard to the ancient Drow nobility and are our closest connection to that noble birthright. On the other hand he raised mum and that comes with a hell of a lot of baggage. Then his wording hit me, he said, "my dad", as in Granddad Arthed. I'd never met that side of the family before, or heard anything about them. Either way I went to my room got cleaned and for a change am greatly thankful for the powerful showers in the house, although that is somewhat ruined with the knowledge that it's to clean blood off more than anything else.

In dragons bazar I had a great day. Found some gullible idiot to seel the Choker parts to. Managed to get 200 gold off him even though I was only gunning for 100. Then came the issue of the armour I was after. I found a forge master and a dwarven one at that. But he shone with goodness and I couldn't help but notice the glare coming from him as I approached. Despite the rocky start he was reasonable but I imagine if I wasn't secreting evil as a moved he'd have been a little more civil. However, I was impressed with the deal we eventually came to. In exchange for publicising the origin of the armour both in person and during the third year tournament he slashed the price in half. Still out of my current capacity but much more achievable than the norm. Besides I'd rather a bespoke set as opposed to the standard sizes of the Central Plaza.

I thought I should head to said district for a while. After all I might bump into Achlys or Arianna. Sadly despite Eliise living there she said she'd be grounded and even  she wouldn't be ableto get out of it. However, I met… umm whatshername. That'un. Ummm. Yeah I didn't know her name but she might not know mi… Well now I feel like an ass. We walked together and chatted away. Maybe I was a bit harsh on her. Sure her Elven cliques was a bit annoying but they've never done anything against me.  We discussed school and family, mainly history rather than present. After she got her Elven curved blade she invited me to hers. Her mum was nice and asked if it was Lessna. Immediately memorizing it I was rather disappointed this was not in fact her name. Eventually I learned it was Illora, only took an entire day of internal screaming of frustration.

Her father was quite intimidating and "politely told us to play in the garden in his sight. He knew my surname and it's connotations which was quite… something. I couldn't help but notice for an elf he had some distinguishing features. He was incredibly pale and sallow skinned. Possibly half drow? Anyway we trained for a bit and had the most amazing dinner I've ever had. Tea is amazing, I have to learn how to brew it. I was going to take my leave when Theoduin said he'd escort me. I expected to get a lecture but instead he told me he had great respect fot my families loyalty to the Children of the Silver Star in their last days. I was incredibly surprised. It's rare anyone knows of them let alone respects their defenders. Then came the expected lecture that I was to do nothing untoward with his daughter as Purebloods are not meant to associate with our kin. His words not mine so I'm allowed to say it.

After I came home I listened to Granddad prattle away about the old days. While a lot of it was utter nonsense I did learn quite a lot. Namely that the fall of the Children of the Silver Star was an internal coup rather than an external assault. But I learned a lot about my Arthed heretige or lack thereof. They were the poison blood slave warriors. The front line troops of the Silver Star Armies. Ruthless killing machines that delighted in their battle prowess and I was sitting opposite one that's lived into his 4th century. What I was a tad dissapointed to learn I lacked was his poison blood which he shoed me by stabbing himself and stabbing me. It wasn't as bad as I usually get it and at least a learning experience. 

In the morning though I was to learn just how mad he was as he sent his demon out to capture Arianna and Achlys. With varying degrees of success. I sent a note for the retrieval of Achlys because he was actually hard to get a hold of… for a deaf kid. When they all arrived Granddad just asked about them about their skills and classes and how they were getting on. He was surprisingly positive. Then I realised Achlys was signing at a wall and the shadow.. from nowhere was waving back and the demon was screaming at it. Granddad berated the demon and then began shooing away the shadow because it was undead.

After he was done questioning them he said we should leave to play together. Well sort of. I went with Arianna to try and apologise to both her and her parents for what happened. As she got to her parents she began hyperventilating and getting very panicked. Seems singing is not her only theatrical talents because her parents ate it up despite her being perfectly fine until then. I apologised to her parents and tried to fix as much of the damage as I could. Then came Achlys' dad who had went to confront my granddad personally. Fairplay to him but this just made it even more difficult. At this point my secret of being an anti-paldin is out to nearly a third of the damn class. Then I saw something I never like to see in my family, a calm, collected threat. His entire arm bursting into green flame as he stared Mr Obscurus down. Who thankfully left soon after and I ran after them to calm the situation down. It could have went better. Once again I've been ordered to not corrupt a fellow student although this was the first time I was told not to bring them home with me. As if I would ever do so voluntarily. Crap I completely forgot Arianna's family offered to let me stay with them. How are they so easy to get along with and their daughter who I've helped on several occasions is so difficult?

For the utter disaster that Sunday was Monday was pretty damn good. Granddad wanted to go to school with me and I immediately thought of a way to resolve the situation, go to Mr Kalaeny. It was… not what I expected. Granddad just froze where he stood listened to the principle who covered for me exceptionally but already knew my Granddads name (Zandron). So classes went pretty normally with me doing relatively well although and helped the paladin. In planar studies I tried to help Kanen by stopping her falling asleep. I was technically successful, just not in the way I desired. Achlys brought in brownies and I'm pretty sure became the most popular kid in our class. Finally P.E. came around and I got a rematch with Averandus where Ms Borgakhi wouldn't stop us. It was an interesting one where I tried every advantage available and he countered it incredibly effectively. It was a proper fight but I prevailed. 

Got a part time job and went to an after school club but that doesn't matter in comparison to what my Granddad said. Apparently during the Fall of the Children of the Silver Star, he had been in a great battle and seen Mr Kalaeny atop a mound of dead Drow Royal Guards. The bodies arranged into a pattern and it was the one time my Grandfather paused in battle and didn't attack. WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH MY HEADTEACHER?!

 

BTW Satan is still amazing

 

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Arianna's diary: entry 4

Saturday:

So, after the events of last night I got a bit of extra sleep this morning and my neck felt right as rain afterwards. Deciding that I would go out and spend some of my newly earned money I headed off to Central Plaza and browse some of the shops and stalls there. While looking around I found a new, good looking outfit to wear at a pretty decent price and I stumbled across nicely sized games shop. While perusing their stuff I found some packs of a fairly popular trading card game that had some of the coolest looking card art I've ever seen. Deciding that I might as well give it a try I bought a couple of packs and was surprised with one of the cards I got. It had a picture of a black dragon on it, apparently the one from that story we learned about in drama and history. Not only that but from what I heard only one of these has ever printed and it's meant to be one of the most powerful cards in the game. Definitely have to be careful if I take it to school, just in case. I also ran into Achlys who was out looking for some new clothes. We talked for a bit but he couldn't stay long since he had to get home to study and bake apparently. I really need to invite him over sometime, maybe on Tuesday if he goes to the after school club. Or better yet maybe I could ask to come round to his house, I'd love to try out some baking we'll see. Not much happened after that though. I pretty much headed home but I'm pretty happy to have a nice quiet day after a pretty hectic week. Hopefully tomorrow will be just as relaxing. 

Sunday: 

You know I wasn't really expecting much to happen today. Mum and Dad would probably drag me and Sariel to church which I still don't get. I mean, I understand why paladins and clerics worship them but if you don't choose to get any special powers from praying then what's the point? You jus make the other God's mad that you aren't worshipping them right? Anyway I'm getting off topic here, because I didn't actually get the chance to go to church today as a was woken up by a terrifying abomination that flew in through my window, grabbed hold of me and flew us away to, of all places, Viscardi's house. When we landed it pointed to the house and screeched "friendship" at me. Not wanting to make it angry I tried to remain composed as I walked in and was met with the sight of a seemingly enfeebled drow man, using a sword as some sort of cane, and wearing heavy armour. Also, Viscardi was sitting next to him. The man started asking me questions and he mentioned that this was a house for antipaladins or something. Which means that Viscardi is an antipaladin. Why he didn't just tell me is anyone's guess but I think I need to have a word with him at some point. Anyway, a bit later Achlys joined us, for some reason Viscardi sent him a note along with the big creepy bird demon. Something else to bring up to him. Also, his dad can apparently turn himself into a shadow which is pretty cool. Soon enough though we were all excused and without a second thought I ran back home with Viscardi following to try and explain what happened. Thankfully we found them before we got home as they had heard the commotion in my room and were out searching for me. Quickly they dismounted from their horses and gave me a tight hug as I started hyperventilating, the stress of everything all coming out at once. I don't really remember much of what happened after that, they may or may not have asked Viscardi if he could tutor me on how to ride a horse I'll need to double check that. What I do know is that I'm writing this in bed with a nice cup of tea with my window securely locked. And to think that yesterday was so nice.

Monday:

After yesterday there wasn't really much that stood out about today. I saw Viscardi walking with the senile old coot he calls his grandfather walking to school and decided to keep a WIDE birth of them. Music went pretty well, I think my singing got the attention of a bunch of my other classmates. After that was Arcane Studies where we were continuing with elementals. At break though Achlys brought in some brownies that he had made yesterday for everyone and they were really good as well. Again, I really should ask if I can come over tomorrow I'd love to know how he made them. Anyway, it was Extraplanar studies after that which went as well as it usually did i.e not well at all though on the plus side I stayed awake this time. We did get interrupted by Viscardi though who yelped when his hand started bleeding. Seriously what is wrong with Dr Millbit. After that it was Divine studies which kind of just happened really. Finally after lunch was PE but not with Ms Borgakhi this time. Mr Vernon the librarian was covering for her today and just let anyone duel for the lesson. Viscardi immediately challenged Averandus and really gave him a beating. I did notice though that he's finally started using a glaive which I think is good news. The day ended after homeroom where Mr Ohanis told us that there's gonna be a field trip in a few months time and we'll need our parents to sign a form saying that we can go. All in all it's been a pretty quiet day which I'm pretty thankful for. 

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Viscardi's Secret "Ciphered" Journal - Entry Three
Gainful Employment

The day could have started better. Mum was displeased with my insistence that we should own slaves. Despite my exceptional explanations and reasoning she shot it down. I then tied to convince dad… mistakes were made. I surprised hm and got a curse right to the face. While dying from the inside our I white lied that mum said he was to capture a child, preferably a wizard for me to break in. He saw through it and sent me to school. One trip to the nurse later and I was back in class. I get that we're the wrong sort but I'm surprised nothing has happened about me coming in mortally wounded twice in my first week.

Well we have a new student, a quiet broody sot I thought. Then I realised he was deaf as a post and couldn't speak. His clothes look even more run down than my own, which is really saying something. Despite this he tries to keep up appearances. He was very amiable and I couldn't help but notice that captain fuckwit was glaring at him. Is there anyone that pompous ass doesn't judge?

Turns out I am to be Achylus' tutor (I hope I'm spelling that right) I think it'll be great, for one thing he shares my enthusiasm for money. First was P.E where our newest classmate was pitted against the witch. It was a simple if uneventful fight as the witch made a good show but was and I quote, "bad touched," to death.

After their fight we were given the chance to challenge people to duels. I naturally challenged Lord Dipshit. After setting some ground rules we entered the arena, although not before I got Achylus to agree to help in anyway he could. Spellcasters and whatnot. So it began well both of us landing blows. Then he dropped his hammer and held his axe with both hands. Realizing the stakes were being raised I thought I should do something, so I dropped the trident and used the Matriarchs Whip. It was an all or nothing gambit and it did NOT work. It tore through his armour and defences but I could feel the lash across myself as it gouged into him. His final attack missed and I was about to finish him (and probably myself), then the teacher stopped me. I tried to wriggle free but it was incredibly hopeless. Scolded we were sent to the nurses office. Although not before I overheard the Elves discussing my apparent wealth. Idiots. Although maybe there's something to be gained from this.

During break we found a job advertisement, surprisingly good pay for glorified babysitting once a week. 

Ten there was general studies, I once again delved into the history, lore and theological debate of our greatest Angel, Satan. Turns out he was originally the most beautiful angel in the heavens, so much so that he questions God's perfection and in the ensuing revolt he was banished to hell along with his followers. Here he retreated to his throne and did little in the running of hell. Eventually Asmodeus the Arch-Traitor rallied all but three of the Arch-Devils to rebel against Satan. Eventually he was overcome and defeated as one of his allies betrayed him when defeat seemed inevitable. Cast our he created Infernus. He is Infernus and Infernus is he. From there he plots his revenge, which will be successful. Then on Dark Cardinals it is simply his servants and worshippers. Their prime enemies are the good and servants of Asmodeus. Well I guess I need to break this mace, chosen weapon of the Arch-Heretic and all.

At Lunch Achylus wanted to go back to the library and search for something about evil marks. I think it was Daemons we eventually settled on. Creepy things… I don't think I ever want to see Abbadon. River Styx was unpleasant.

Then there was assembly, basically just telling us all how good the school is and that we shouldn't go the 5th floor right wing because we'd be in mortal peril… Yeah Eliise obviously ignored this warning and found some abomination but was rescued in time.

The orphanage job was better than I dreamed, I thought we'd just be there until late but it turns out we have to stay over. Amazing! I don't have to go home on Fridays and I have general studies to study Satan. Fridays are the best. Looking after the kids was dull, although I did sneak in a little story about Satan, build it up gradually and not quite make it so overt that I'm converting them. Never done this before. Although between Rogues and Barbarians it'll be hard to cultivate Lawful Evil. Maybe one rogue will be an assassin.

Then came the noises. Eliise head banging from downstairs and I found that our rooms had been searched. By something that seemed to have claws. Achylus was attacked which for a deaf kid hiding in the dark was unideal because I had no idea for a while. Don't think he's quite forgiven me for not being there. Then we searched the cellar. There is some kind of tunnel.

The screech, it was terrifying. We though a child had been attacked and raced to rescue them. Well Arianna and Eliise did. Achylus had reasonably gone to bed as he was weakened and drained of magic. I would have but was attacked from behind. It had made a mistake touching me. I didn't struggled I just held it and blue flames eurupted from my hand as it let out a squel of fear and pain. It was easy to pull off me as I went for another attack. It tried to flee down the tunnel. I was wounded and it was a risk but I used the whip and tore it's back apart, mine too. After reconveening I took the creatures eyes, the ones in the hands for good measure. We disposed of the bodies, dealt with a creepy kid who said they were his friends and went to bed.

In the morning we were paid double to keep our mouths shut. I was just glad we weren't in trouble. I thought the orphanage owner might have been keeping them to keep the children in line. So with the gold in our pockets hopefully Saturday will be just as eventful. Oh and before I fell asleep I did another two sketches.

The Fall

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Achlys' Journal - 1
New School

Well, first day at Kalaeny’s went really great! I was expecting things to be super awkward (and they still kind of were) and everyone to hate me and ignore me but they didn’t. Although the paladin was weirded out by me, I guess he’s still trying to figure out why I’m not evil, or why he’s not allowed to smite me. I even made some friends. I think. A drow boy by the name of Viscardi was assigned my tutor and he’s really helpful. Which I guess is weird because he told me he’s actually an anti-paladin!!! I thought all anti-paladins were about killing, maiming, burning and so on. He’s seems pretty ordered and structured and… sane. The day was fairly uneventful until we got to PE and the teacher (Ms Borghaki) wanted to assess my abilities so I had to duel a witch called Darius. To be thrust into a fight so suddenly was pretty scary but I steeled myself, threw out my best death glare and got stuck in. I actually managed to win! Although it wasn’t a terribly impressive display by either of us. The real fight was Viscardi against the paladin. Viscardi discreetly asked for my help during the duel. Who was I to turn him down? Not only is he my tutor but I’m hardly a fan of paladins myself and he could owe me one. Couldn’t do much to help though, teacher saw my attempt at spellcasting. Haven’t really used the sign system much outside of practice, I have to be more careful. What was cool though was when Viscardi pulled out this totally cool whip. I think it was magical given it went straight through the paladin’s armour… and cut Viscardi as well. Teacher broke up the duel after that and we all went to the nurse’s office.

After that was history. I managed to keep up well enough I think. Something about some giant dragon invasion. The emperor and his guard fought against this giant dragon and some dude came out of nowhere to help. I got the specifics in my notes somewhere. Miss Dolaeneth then asked the class for suggestions on what to teach as the syllabus hasn’t officially started yet. Couldn’t think of anything at the time but I just realised what would be super cool. The history of the Royal Guards. How they were formed, what they do, what it takes to be one, all that stuff is super interesting. Also, just think how rich they must be and how cool their job must be. When you are that strong and respected I imagine you want for nothing. After that was a short break and then general studies. Usually people study what they want but I had to be caught up. I think I got most of it but nature studies are really hard. At least Viscardi was nice enough to loan me his notes. Lunch was next and I met a couple more people. Eris, a very chaotic rogue and Arianna, some dashing fighter type I imagine. Arianna seemed nice, brought some kind of counselling afterschool activity to my attention. It’s for people who are “different”. I’m not sure I’ll like it but I should probably go. I should also check out the other afterschool activities, there’s bound to be something fun.

School seemed to end early with all afterschool clubs cancelled. Something about the 5th floor being out of bounds. Eris went off to investigate, but she joined us later for the job we found. Oh my god, I totally forgot to ask about that. Oh well, I guess I’ll ask Monday. Anyway, the job. Seemed simple enough, work for 3-4 people at an orphanage bordering Slag District, with 50gp each. All we had to do was look after the kids for the night while the owner attended some meetings. It started well enough but it became readily apparent things were… weird. Her insistence we follow the rules set out for the kids ourselves, including locking our doors and going to bed at like 7pm. The fact that the kids were locked in their rooms. From the inside. The overly large wall around the orphanage. The reason for all these things became abundantly clear about midnight. I was watching the hallway that led to the children’s rooms due to my suspicions when something dropped on me. It then proceeded to strangle the life out me. Funny thing, when you are pretty much out spells, can’t call for help and are being slowly suffocated by some strange monster in a dark, spooky manor, you start to feel a little afraid. Thankfully the others charged in and saved me, although Viscardi took his sweet ass time. I wanted to help them deal with this but the duel earlier that day ate up most of my spells so I just went back to my room, locked the door and went to sleep.

I woke up feeling great, the very nasty bruising left by the monster gone. I was also quite shocked to see my pay for the job doubled. Apparently, the owner didn’t want word of this getting out so she incentivised us not blabbing. This is the kind of incentive I can get behind. All in all, a good end to the week. I can’t wait for next week! I think I’ll actually introduce myself to other people in the class. Better bake some cookies or brownies to hand out as well. As for this gold, well it bought this journal but I’m not sure what else to do with it. I guess I’ll save it up for now.

For now though, the weekend!

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Arianna's diary: entry 3

Friday: 

When  this week began I thought I wouldn't have much to say about Friday given that it's the shortest day of the week. However given that I'm writing this on Saturday morning those expectations were somewhat dashed. the day started out with an unexpected surprise in home room where we were introduced to a new boy in our class. His name is Achlys and Mr Ohanis told us that he's an oracle who was born deaf. Also while I don't want to infer anything from what he was wearing it looks like he was wearing a second hand uniform so his family might not be in the best shape. He has a small chalk board with him so that we can talk but I think it's only right that I try and learn sign language over the next few weeks, given that he joined us late it's only right that we try to do something to help him feel welcome. 

Anyway our first class was PE with Ms Borgakhi where she had Achlys duel with the witch boy in our class. I think his name is Darius but I might need to double check that. It actually went pretty well for Achlys as he kept poking Darius in the chest and eventually knocked him out, even when he summoned an eagle to peck at his face. After the duel Ms Borgakhi asked if any of us wanted to duel and Viscardi immediately challenged Averandus. What I found strange was that he didn't use a glaive which I thought was his deities favoured weapon and instead used an axe. The fight went well enough until Viscardi dropped his trident and pulled out a really creepy looking whip. When it hit Averandus it looked like it also hit him in the head too. Though the fight never came to an end as Ms Borgakhi took Viscardi by the wrists and called off the duel. Why he would use a thing like that is beyond me but I'm more worried about who gave it to him. Anyway after that it was history with Miss Dolaeneth where we learned… something. I think I might have dozed off actually but I think it had something to do with the play we took part in on Tuesday. 

After that we had a quick break so I got to see Mr Kalaeney in his office. I told him that I would take him up on his offer about the after school club on Wednesday and I also asked him if Viscardi and Eriis were in trouble yesterday. He said that they did do something but that it's all ok now. While I was there he asked me to tell Achlys about the support group on Tuesdays, apparently oracles usually get invited to join. After break it was extended general studies. I got to speak with Achlys about the Tuesday group and he seemed interested enough and he seems like a really sweet boy. After that I thought I would read up on Shelyn, Averandus' deity, and found out that she is a goddess of the arts among other things. After that we attended Mr Kalaeney's assembly where we were told not to go up to the 5th floor and that the day's after school clubs were cancelled. That said, Achlys approached me and told me that he, Viscardi and Eriis were thinking about taking up a job at a nearby orphanage and wanted to know if I'd join them. Deciding that I could do with the extra money and having some experience looking after my little sister Sariel when mum and dad had to leave on the rare occasion I thought it might be fun. Eriis arrived a bit later than us as she decided to check out the 5th floor, definitely not asking about that, and myself and Achlys had to rush home and let our parents know we'd be busy for the day. 

In all honesty I was a bit worried when I met the kids, mostly because there were 24 of them and the orphanage itself, Rays of Hope, was on the border between Central Plaza and Slag District. But when I got the meet them they really seemed to like me and Viscardi in particular. Speaking of, the two of us helped them with their reading while Eriis and Achlys set up a small obstacle course in the playground. I think they may have made it too hard for them though as one or two of them fell and scraped a knee or two. After that Achlys made them their meals while the rest of us cleaned things up. Viscardi told them a few stories and I sang them a lullaby or two. Things went pretty smoothly all things considered but the strange thing was the rules we were given. In particular that all the doors should be locked, even those for each kid's room. Later on in the night we found out why though. Eriis found a hatch in the groom cupboard that led down to the basement and also saw something lift it up. Checking on the kids upstairs we found that the doors for our bedrooms were open and Achlys was promptly attacked by a monstrous little creature that immediately tried to choke him. It didn't take much to kill it mind you, one swift stab to the neck with my rapier brought it down. What we later found was that it wasn't alone, as a large one strangled Eriis in the kitchen and another one dragged Viscardi into the basement. Eriis and I took down the big one while Viscardi got his one in the back with a trident which is when we found out that there was a tunnel dug into the basement. Getting a look at the creature they really did look ghastly, with long disjointed limbs and eyed on the palms of their hands it near enough made me sick. What was odd though was that we saw a little boy  after the commotion who apparently knew about the chokers and told us that they're actually a common occurrence.

Anyway,we woke up the next morning with twice the promised pay to keep quiet about the fight which means 100 gold in pocket for looking after some sweet kids and fighting some monsters. All in all a pretty nice deal. Now if you'll excuse me I think I'll get another hour or two of sleep just to rest off the slight pain around my neck.

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Viscardi's Secret "Ciphered" Journal - Entry Two
Detention

Exhaustion set in quickly. On my way to school I blundered into some poor girl. It was the half-orc, monk? Fighter? I dunno anyway I helped her up and we rushed in and arrived just on time. First we had… ummm… Divine Studies. Nothing interesting there. Just… stuff… Then Mrs Arael asked if I was ok. I explained I was tired and may have lied about it being my parents. She did NOT buy it. I was surprised, that usually worked. I decided that if I lie wouldn't work I'll tell her the truth and see what she did with that. Time disappeared, and I didn't understand it. She looked as confused as I felt and with that I took my leave.

Then there was art. With Dr Millbit who no longer had his imp minions and was in constant panic. I briefly felt guilty before realising the invaluable knowledge I'd gained and also I killed my brother… probably… I'm sure he'd dead. Otherwise he's getting a lot worse than death. After class I went to speak with him and discovered just how defended that damn room is. A snake jumped out and paralyzed me. When he came out he just seemed miffed that I'd wasted the spell. I thanked him for… the ritual and bluntly asked who I… belong to. Satan… whoever is. I made sure I'd got it right. Never heard of him. Either way I thanked him profusely and he promptly shut the door. It would appear he does not suspect me in the slightest.

Quickly at break I went to the nurse to get some help, she gave me a herbal remedy. Perked me right up. Then came P.E. This I was prepared for, I would use all the powers at my disposal. There was even a prize for being first! So I cast darkness, levitation and charged in. I was n ot expected the magical rune and net… which I couldn't escape from. Well first place was gone. May as well have a nap. So I just went to sleep. After a bit the teacher asked if I wanted cut down so I could take a break, I took the opportunity to catch up on my sleep.

Finally came lunch, I grabbed some lunch with Eliise, Arianna, Sereen and Averandus. It would appear the paladin has met with the disapproval of Eliise. She requested more poison. She recommended we go to the forest. I was about to agree when I got a strange shiver, a lump caught in my throat, a cold sweat. "No," I responded, "That would be improper." She glared at me and scowled, then I thought of something. "Why not the Greenhouse, there'll be more stuff there!"

 

This was a grave mistake. Turns out everything in there is alive. Especially the centre plant. Eats people and copies them. Then the copies bring more deluded victims to the plant… this was a harrowing experience. Thankfully I was saved. Although I did get a punishment. No afterschool club or a detention but just to go home. That being said the experience did give me something to work with. This ritual is having quite the effect. my touch of corruption rather than the spluttering green energy, it has become a beautiful elegant blue flame twisting and burning whatever is at my touch.

General Studies was amazing. I quietly got to reading some very interesting books. Mainly one on my new Lord and Master Satan. The Fallen Star. The most Beautiful Angel. Truly the Greatest… I now know what I'll be doing in art class. I've begun sketches at home. Heresy most foul in my own home. Surely such devotion should be welcomed. I found out the my devotion shall make me a Dark Cardinal. I asked about it but the Librarian said he'd have to order in a book. After that excitement I looked into Abraxes. The least appauling in my mind of the Chaotic Evil Pantheon. Should allow me to remain relatively intact. However, Eliise having seen my powers as I tried to rescue her from the plant monster has been asking a great many questions. I was answering, if I didn't I imagine it would only get worse. But in my frustration I threw it not at her but the winged sorcerer. As it turns out he didn't read it but not before… well all in due course.

Going home was truly surprising today. Mum would appear to have an utter disgust of my principle, to the point that she just accepted that I stated he was being a pillock. Not only that but I told her I was in need of a whip, the favoured weapon of Abraxes. She was incredibly pleased (by her standards) and gave me a Matriarchs whip, a familial heirloom of sorts. Apparently I asked too much at the tattoo ink and was promptly beaten. Small steps I guess.

The next day started with a rush… well hobble to the nurses office. En route the sorcerer showed up, asking me to join his team for P.E. From his tone I thought he was blackmailing me, with the information from the note. I acquiesced but I never realized I could feel fury so vehement. Anyway so I went to the nurses office, I think her sympathy is worth it's weight in gold. To be fair if anyone deserved sympathy it's me. Then P.E and Natural studies. It would appear my expedition into the greenhouse has not gone unnoticed as the teachers were "inspired". A trip to the greenhouse and then a mimic in the form of a plant monster. That was actually a damn tough fight, that being said I Eliise showed her loyalty and shot Sarvin. She may be a loose cannon but her loyalty will have to be maintained.

It was on my second trip to the nurses that in my talk with Sarvin I became aware, he was not blackmailing me. He's just really bad at social interaction. After a desperate bid to placate him I apologized for my mistake. He was truly oblivious. We bonded on a mutual dislike of the Paladin and his judgment. I told him everything. I really need to stop telling everyone. I think we're friends and he hangs out with us but… well I'm surprised.

Arcane studies were no trouble, I helped the half orc fighter who was really struggling. We were back with Dr Milbit, he's back in action. Imps, books and lecture at the ready.  I've really taken to his lessons, they're a battle of wills rather than intellect for some reason. Something I excel in. We also got an introduction to what this course entails. I think this may be a course I continue into my later years. I want to understand these "theoretical" planes.

At lunch I went to ask Mr Kalaeny about this Dark Cardinal stuff. Want to make a good start and whatnot. He simply said all in due course and told me to run to languages. Run I did, I had forgotten entirely that was the next class. Dr Milbit summoned us all personal tutors. Some poor angel had to teach me and Eliise Infernal. After class I asked if next week I could get a different tutor. He seemed somewhat irritated I didn't ask earlier.

Survivalist club was not particularly interesting. I think I might ask Dr Milbit if on Thursdays I could study Infernal with a tutor afterschool instead of any of these clubs. Hopefully it'll be ok. But what was interesting afterschool was Arianna. She'd waited for me and invited me to her house. I accepted before thinking and was already panicking. This had too many variables and added chaos to an otherwise careful day!

Their house was pristine and their armour somehow more so. Gaudy the term is. Their horses unruly I suppose without their guiding presence. Although I think that was more Arianna than it was me. I managed to calm her horse and we rode together for quite a while. Plus we got food, I was incredibly surprised at such generosity. They probably think I'm indebted to them, the swine. At home dad was as angry as ever. I've said it before, for people that pride themselves on their unpredictability they really do never change. But having seen another house in the district and my own I realized something. Our house was shit. I will not live in it. I explained to my dad slavery, get a good servant or ten around here. Although made it sound chaotic just to keep him… well less angry. He said I should talk to mum. I guess I will when she returns.

Viscardi's Artwork

The beginning of the Fall:

The Deceiver in Eden:

His Rise:

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Arianna's diary: entry 2

Day 3:

The day started out as expected, my mum and dad reminded me again about the riding club after school which, just to keep them happy I decided to attend. In all honesty I knew how it would end and I was almost hoping the horse would kick me in the vain hope that they would stop insisting that I learn to ride but I'll get back to that later. I also asked them if I could bring a friend or two over after school to which they agreed. School started out normally, Eriis the rogue didn't show up until later in the day and we started with divine studies. It was pretty uneventful in all honesty until Mrs Arael approached Viscardi and scowled at him after he spoke to her. After that was Art class taught by Dr Millbit of all people though, he was acting pretty odd today; a lot more rushed and preoccupied with something else he didn't even notice when some people in the class snuck out early. When class ended I got to speak with the paladin boy Averandus and I got to know him a bit better. What was surprising was that he told me that Dr Millbit was evil which came as a huge shock to me, given that I thought he was just a bit grouchy. Anyway Averandus had to go but we agreed to meet up at lunch and honestly, after spending some time with him he seems like a really nice guy, even a bit cute too. the last part is hastily scribbled out

After break it was PE with Mr Charus which, for once, didn't involve going into the forest. Instead we had to make it across a seemingly barren field and who else but Viscardi tried first… only to be caught by a magical net. Eriis ended up leading the way by disabling the magical traps, not that it helped that much as I soon found myself falling and not so gracefully landing in a hole. I took a bit of time to get out but from what I saw a boy called Hisun made it across first. After that it was Cultural social studies which pretty much passed by without any incidents. Lunch was a bit strange though, I met up with Averandus who was with the oracle Sereen, and we were soon joined by Viscardi and Eriis. What was strange was that they soon rushed off in a hurry without much warning and we didn't see them again until next period. Our last class for the day was general studies with Mr Ohanis which was just spending time in the library. I thought it would be best to read up on how to handle animals in preparation for the riding club right after and while it mostly stuff that my parents had me reading it was probably a good idea to refresh some of the basics. Not that it really did any good mind you because when the club started the horse still wouldn't approach me, it even took Mr Charus a while to calm it down. Still, in the end I at least managed to get on it's back without too much hassle but this pretty much solidified things and I think I'll take up Mr Kalaeney's offer and go to the performance club instead; hopefully he can cover for me with my parents because they're still adamant that I continue practicing. Mind you Mr Charus did tell me that my… background might be why animals in general don't like me, something about old Druid magic. And I swear I could hear someone laughing at me.

Day 4: 

it was a weird start to the day this time with both Mr Charus and Ms Borgakhi saying that their got some inspiration for the day's lessons. Mr Charus brought us into a massive greenhouse filled with living plant creatures, apparently they use them for fighting in PE along with the elementals and other creatures. What really got me though was the massive plant in the center of the building and it looks like it got Viscardi's attention too given by the look of abject horror on his face. Apparently it's a plant that eats and creates copies of it's victims… so definitely staying far away from it. PE started off strange too as Ms Borgakhi had Viscardi and Eriis go in first and they chose to have me and a tiefling boy called Sarvin join them. We ended up fighting what we thought was a small version of that massive plant but was actually just a mimic. The fight went well enough… until Eriis shot Sarvin, who I found out is a sorcerer, in the hip. Viscardi also got caught in it's vines but we managed to finish it off nonetheless. What was wierd though was that everyone else just had to fight more elementals. Strange, but I guess they only had the one mimic on hand. 

Break seemed to pass by as soon as it had arrived and we were off to Extraplaner studies where Dr Millbit was back to his old routine again though thankfully I wasn't close to dozing off this time. I finally hit a roadblock on Arcane studies though but Sarvin was nice enough to give me some help. Our last class for the day was languages with Dr Millbit again but instead of his usual dry and dull teaching method we each had a dove fly over to us. Talking doves. Apparently they'll be out tutors in a language of our choice for the next few weeks so I thought I would try out out the only other language I know and said hello to it in celestial. It answered back in kind and I asked it to teach me sylvan since, if they're are a bunch of plant creatures around it might be a good idea to learn a bit of their language. 

After school I decided to wait back a bit for Viscardi to finish his detention. I thought he might like to spend a bit more time away from his home so I asked him if he like to come with me back to my house. My hunch was kind of confirmed with the speed that he agreed. When we got home my parents, as usual, were waiting for me just past the door. Viscardi introduced himself to them and then we went out back to the stables. The horses, as usual, tried rearing back when they saw me but Viscardi actually got my horse to calm down a bit, to the point that he let me up ont it's back. If I was optimistic I would say that would show my parents that I'm just not cut out for horse riding but more likely they'll try to hire him as a private tutor for me or something. After a few hours had passed Viscardi said that he had to head home and mother asked me to walk him home. He seemed a bit apprehensive when we were about half way there though, something about his house being close to the more religious part of the city or something which i thought was a bit strange. Averandus is a paladin and I like him a lot so I don't understand why Viscardi being religious would be an issue. I think I understood his apprehension when we got to his house though. It looked a lot like mine but a lot more… run down. He near enough bolted through his door and all I could see before he slammed it shut was some scary looking bird creature screeching at him. I think I need to invite him round more often because that is no place for a thirteen year old to live.

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Arianna's diary: entry 1

Day 1:

Today was my first day at Kalaeny's school for gifted young children and was far from what I expected it to be like. It started out pretty normal, walking there from my home in Holden Vale I saw some other kids, including a drow boy in my class called Viscardi. I learned later that he's a fighter but when I saw him throughout the day he was acting a bit strange and a paladin boy in our class called Averandus doesn't seem to like him very much so I think I might keep an eye on him. We started the day in home room with Mr Ohanis who seems like a nice man who loves tea a lot. After the register was taken we went to Music and drama class with Miss Dolaeneth who is the absolute best. We introduced ourselves to the class and got to try some of the instruments. I'm didn't know why but everyone crowded around me when I started playing the harp until they started complimenting me after I finished. There are also a group of four elf girls in our class and I don't think they liked me getting so much attention. I think one of them is a bard so that might explain it. After that we had planer studies with Mr Millbit who is a big grouch. He just started the lesson as soon as he entered the room without warning and my God it was so boring. I tried as hard as I could to pay attention but I almost fell asleep. I would have as well if he hadn't noticed and shouted my name out. I think I got lucky though because the same thing happened to the paladin boy I mentioned before and I saw his ear start to bleed afterwards. I think I'll try to put some more effort into his classes because he is seriously scary. 

After that we had a quick break where I saw a cleric girl from our class wandering on her own. I found out that her name is Serien and she's actually an oracle cursed with melancholy. I wanted to get to know her a bit more but before I could I was interrupted when my parents of all people came galloping into the field on a pair of white horses… to give me the lunch that I forgot at home. Oh, it was so embarrassing and I'm pretty sure the elf girls from before saw it happen. Not to mention they still want me to try and learn how to ride despite the number of times that horses have ended up kicking me.

Anyway, after that little display we went to Arcane studies and Divine studies, both of which went off fine enough. What was weird though was that all of our lessons so far were on elementals which I thought was a bit strange, that was until PE with Ms Borgakhi where we had to team up in groups of three or four and fight some of them. I ended up with the drow boy Viscardi and a half-elf rogue called Eriis who, I would later find out is pretty… unpredictable. The fight itself went well enough; Viscardi shoved the water elemental the water one into the fire elemental, Eriis shot down the air elemental and I finished off the fire and earth ones. I will admit though it hurt a lot more than I thought it would for our first day, especially when the earth elemental got a tusk in my leg. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful until our last register when Mr Ohanis asked me , Viscardi and another boy to stay back for a bit. He told us that Tuesdays after school there was a club for kids that are… different from their parents and I think I understand what he meant by that so we all agreed to join up. When I got home my mum and dad insisted again that I join the riding club on Wednesdays so I told them I would at least give it a try if only to make them happy. Overall it was a pretty good first day but I think I should start getting to know some of the other kids there. 

Day 2:

Today wasn't as eventful as yesterday. We started with natural studies with Mr Charus which involved identifying poisonous plants (which Viscardi knew almost instantly) and finding our way out of the forest. After that we had Drama class where we improvised a play about the king and an evil dragon which was a lot of fun. We had PSHE which I can't really remember too well, I think it was something to do with general health studies. After that we had PE which involved making our way across a loop of the forest which started off pretty well until I triggered a trap and got hit in the chest with a large log. I ended up having to it it out and went to the doctor to fix my broken rib along with a half-orc girl with really splintered hands. The rest of the day went by pretty quickly after that until school ended and we met Mr Kalaeney for the special after school club. He told me that I'm what's called a Daring Champion, a cavalier who fights with finesse instead of on horseback. Viscardi is a Tyrant who prefers keeping things orderly which gets him into trouble wth his parents, and the last boy is a synthesist who wears his eidolon to protect and help him in a fight. He gave us all some advice and told me that he could cover for me if I wanted to go to a performance club on Wednesdays instead of riding. I really appreciate it but i think I should at least go to the riding club this week so that can at least tell my parents that I tried it. 

Overall the day was largely uneventful but had it's moments. I should ask my mum and dad if I can have some friends over some time. From what he said, I think Viscardi could use some extra time away from his parents so I should ask him if he'd like to come over first. 

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Viscardi's Secret "Ciphered" Journal - Entry One
A new beginning

Left in the morning, to make it in time for school. Siblings always leave late, they don't care. They never care. No one there to say goodbye, again. There's always a slight hope. For people that pride themselves on their chaotic disposition and unpredictability they fail to surprise me, every single day. On my way I saw someone walking the same path as I. She was blonde, wore the uniform well, walked with purpose. It briefly occurred to me I should jog up and speak to her. I quickly shook off such a notion, I like solitude, allows one to think rather than be distracted. That's all it is, a distraction. 

In class I glanced around the room to see where to sit. I considered sitting with the Elven clique but decided against it. They didn't seem to agree with me. So I sat down next to some blonde goofy looking guy. However, once I sat down I realised just how big he was. He could barely squeeze into his desk, and even sitting he towered over me. He turned out to be really nice… too nice. Hisum his name was, a barbarian obviously, it's quite rare I'm so thoroughly physically eclipsed. After roll call where we learnt a student was noticeably absent, we went to music and drama. 

Here we had to… introduce ourselves. I knew this was coming but I didn't expect it so damn soon. I was sitting next to Hisum which may have been a mistake because the bastard went like first. I froze up and just said I'm a fighter from Holden Vale. Most people, especially the Elves bought it but one guy kept glaring at me and scowled as I spoke. No surprises the fuckwit is a paladin. This is exactly why I lie, judgmental pricks like him. If I told the truth everyone else would be judging me just as harsh as this guy. Soon we broke up to attempt to use musical instruments. I took this chance to explain to the paladin that just because I'm a bad guy doesn't mean I'm a "bad guy". Averardus his name was. Bastard has to upstage me at every turn, an extra syllable in his name, who does he think he is. 

Then there's the Sorcerer, turns out he doesn't have a humpback as I initially assumed. Instead he has baddass wings. The girl that comes from my part of town was amazing on the harp but Hisum was incredibly pleased to have been able to beat the ever loving crap out of some drums. His lean frame really does mask the sheer strength he is capable of.

Next was arcane studies, I must've gotten lucky we were basically recapping the study of a book I read on my own time. So for me it was revision. Some of the other students were struggling, especially fuckwit. Initially I thought I should just enjoy his groaning in frustration but maybe I should help. So I scooched forward and started explaining stuff to him. Then my chair started shaking. Repeatedly. Now I realize she was careful about it but inanimate objects don't just kick themselves. So I stood up and leaned over Averardus' desk to explain it to him. After all the best way to learn is to teach.

After a quick break where I asked for detention from the music teacher. I'm somewhat wary of her. After all a drow bard explicitly equates to nobility the rank of which is vastly beyond my aspiration. She said I should speak to my Homeroom teacher or the principle. 

After break was my favourite class thus far. Planar studies. While it was only the elemental planes rather than anything interesting, Dr Milbit does not mess about. Straight into teaching us without missing a beat. To be honest it seemed like I was the only person keeping up with the class. Fuckwit was clearly struggling an incredible amount. Fall asleep several times. The third he jumped in pain and his ear was bleeding. How amazing is that?!

Finally there was P.E. we were pitting against elementals. Our group included myself, the cavalier and the rogue that was late. OMG how could I forget, at lunch the Cavaliers parents showed up to bring her lunch in for her. It was hilarious, Eriis could barely stand she was laughing so hard. Anyway… yes PE. We fought the elementals, I was told to attract their attention as best as I could and found myself being attacked by pretty much all of them. That being said I was rather proud to have used intellect over brawn and used the elementals against each other. Apparently nearly everyone else did while we were with the nurse. They were obviously just copying me.

So after homeroom I asked Mr Ohanis for a detention, he already had the slip filled in. So I got to go the library and read up on some Gods. Apparently these four horsemen guys bring the "end times". They seem a bit melodramatic for my likes. My search for a better God than the likes of Lolth and Lamashtu.

So second day. Pretty much as good as the first. Arrived on time, did well in class, especially Natural Studies. I remembered my mum teaching me about poisons as a kid, although these were much more mundane than the horrific things my mum would make. Although I was mildly miffed at him commenting on my drow heritage. My race shouldn't come into it. Admittedly I couldn't hide the smirk of pride. After all, we are inherently pretty great. So we trekked through the woods and then our teacher buggered off and told us to find our own way out. 

The elves promptly fucked off. Between a druid, ranger and a leader what did they have to gain from staying. Strangely so did the rogue, I thought she'd have been in a bit of trouble but she got out ok. The rest of us were not sure what to do, so I naturally took command. Explaining that our best course of action was to stick together and help each other. The paladin was mortified but everyone else was quite inspired to follow me, and he followed suit. As I guided them out of the forest and helped them with the dangers I realized leadership was clearly the best position for me. I was not a fighter, artist or great spellcaster. I'm a ruler. Maybe a life in politics would suit me. Although with the Emperor and his friends around there's hardly any space for advancement.

The rest of the day was quiet. Went to the library during lunch, talked to people. Pretty mundane. Then there was an after school club for those of us that are… wrong. They said we're special and unique. That just means we're weird and different. We can't fill our role in society. We don't fit.

So Kalaeny told us all what was different about us but that we should "embrace it". The summoner was creepy and awesome, I offered to train with him. He looks like he could use a friend, and I could do with someone like that around. Then the cavalier bless her, can't ride. How horrible. Almost as bad as being a divine caster who hates your gods and doesn't know what to do. OH WAIT IT'S NO WHERE NEAR AS BAD! GET ON A GODDAMN HORSE AND TRY!

But I asked to speak with Kalaeny in private and showed him my mums mark. So Dr Milbit was called in and he… rebound me. So a terrifying profane ritual later, I feel much better. I promptly stole from his office and went on a journey through time and space. Killed my brother and just had breakfast. Forgot to sleep.

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