PREP Highschool

Locales found within the main city centers; primarily Inside, Riverside, and Skyside.
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Re: PREP Highschool

Post by Keeper »

Apologies

It’s actually a weird case where Eos doesn’t actually do what Kol described. It’s just a title because he was his dad’s second child and sort-of-maybe Herald. Kol’s title is more literal for reasons that range from “he’s different because only one divine parent” to “Adea thought it was funny.”

”Of course I did! And she nodded and agreed and I got a wishy-washy little ‘yeah my bad but things weren’t working out with my husband’ and a promise that the new worlds she made were made different so that wouldn’t happen again. That’s it.”
Kol’s thoughts on his mother are notably more complicated than those about his father.
”No, Khannie. I can’t interfere with their lives. Once I decide to do that where do I stop? I can barely pass an economics class, how am I supposed to understand the ramifications of moving a mountain for somebody? I give them my luck and I make sure nobody messes with their world. That’s the best I can give them. They don’t need selfish gods running around.”

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Re: PREP Highschool

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[Apologies]

See here's an interesting thing. Khannie has learned that for the most part gods didn't just have mantels, they had territories, too. Some people liked to try to lump all the gods that had the same mantel together but in her reading Khannie has found that basically ALL OF THE DETAILS are different. So the god of war in one place isn't the same god of war in some other place.

They're all little gods, even if they sometimes insist otherwise.

Worlds where they're only ONE set of gods seem like a weird exception to the rule.

"That sounds lame. Your mom is lame, Kol," Khannie informs her friend. "I honestly dunno if she sounds better or worse than Fortuna. At least Fortuna doesn't make whole worlds for giggles."

She wrinkles her nose here.

"I mean... I'm pretty sure she doesn't?"

Can Fortuna do that?

Khannie honestly has no idea.

Then she shakes her head at the 'no' reply. "That's not what I mean, not exactly. People mess with each other's free will all the time, usually 'cuz they're more powerful. Sometimes it's for good reasons and sometimes it's for bad reasons. But, I mean, your little pterodactyl people have got cities and stuff so they musta come up with rules and things, right?"

It would be hard to have a society without rules.
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Re: PREP Highschool

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[Outside Class - Hunters]

Still groveling on the floor, Asami's eyes become awash with tears, causing her to wince. Using a hand, she wipes some snot from her nose and sniffles, moving in on Agate for a hug. "Hah... I don't even know what to *sniff* say. How are you feeling right now, though? Am I upsetting you at the moment?"
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Re: PREP Highschool

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Apologies

Well Fortuna did create a fortress with minions and an elaborate history for a gag. But that didn’t affect so many people.

”Well, yeah. Those ribbons tied around the spire are promises put there by all the peoples of their world. As long as they remain there the promises stand. That one is the promise against war. It’s never been cut.”
Kol proudly points to the red ribbon at the middle of the spire’s length.
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Re: PREP Highschool

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[Apologies]

That's the largest thing our heroes are aware of that Fortuna made. Who knows what she gets up to when no one is watching?

Anywho!

Khannie raises an eyebrow at that explanation.

"I don't wanna be a downer but ...are you sure these people have got free will and your mom isn't just punking you to make you feel better?" Khannie asks. "'cuz I've studied history from a buncha different worlds and things and the only time people don't fight is when someone even bigger is stepping on everyone who does."
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Re: PREP Highschool

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[Mad Science Building]

She's definitely trained as a martial artist. And... close to home, by the looks of it. She saw students act like this, way back. Is this Mercury's idea of a joke? Hiep wouldn't put it past her.

But then more pressing matters capture her attention and she points her mop at Jack.

"If you do that, there might not be someone to bail you out. And instead of tentacles you'll summon void crabs or something."
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Re: PREP Highschool

Post by Halae »

[Mad Science Building]

Skye nods at that. Yes, that would be fairly awful. You had better listen to the faculty, Jack!

With the large part of the attention off her, however, Skye will turn back to Khannie, "A set of lenses like that is potentially very potent. We should probably run some tests to see what they do, and how they should be stored."

The auroral glow around Skye is still there, though it's very slowly receding.
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Re: PREP Highschool

Post by Keeper »

Apologies

Kol is definitely offended.
”Mom didn’t make the painting. I did. None of the things I just said came from her. And I didn’t say they don’t have problems and stuff. But they haven’t started any world wars or anything.”
There is a pretty big degree of separation between “mild territorial spats” and “razing cities to the ground in giant fireballs and salting the earth.”
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Re: PREP Highschool

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[Apologies (more probably forthcoming)]

Wuh oh.

Kol's mad.

Khannie raises her hands in a 'hold on a sec' sort of gesture. "There's no reason to jump me this is just how I puzzle through stuff. You just told me you made a world that's pretty close to some sorta eutopia but also none of the people there have their free will messed with and everything is great. I'm not even talking about world wars that's a horrible thing that hardly ever happens. Wars are almost always tribes or city-states or empires or whatever smacking the heck outta each other over stuff."

'Stuff' is a pretty wide category and includes, but is not limited to, territory, resources, and conflicting ideas.

"Okay so your mom didn't make it. Did you, like, actually design these people? You just said you don't actually know stuff. I've only taken a couple biology classes myself and even just one cell is complex like a friggin' city. So did you make it or did you just think about what sorta stuff you wanted and something else made it? Like I get you made the painting but did you make the WORLD? Would you be able to do another one or did you need your mom's help?"


She's not trying to pick you apart, Kol.

When Khannie's faced with something that makes her uneasy she treats it like a puzzle and tries to figure it out.


[Mad Science Building]


Khannie nods at Skye's suggestion. "Yeah that's basically what I was thinking. I know some of the stuff I dig up is dangerous and I definitely wanna know what I'm working with since it isn't gunna fall into the wrong hands."

Jack whistles innocently.

"So what are you thinking? Maybe trying 'em in the telescope thingy like Jack was saying? Or test 'em out in one of the other labs?" Khannie wonders aloud.

"Did you find any texts on their use?" Jack asks, still quite sure he knows what they are.

"I found some scrolls and codexes and this weird emerald tablet-"
Khannie pulls out a roughly writing pad sized tablet literally made of one giant emerald and inscribed with letters of gold.
"-in the tower but I don't recognize the writing. For whatever reason the Nexus doesn't like translating dead languages so you gotta figure 'em out on your own."
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Re: PREP Highschool

Post by Keeper »

Apologies

”I don’t know Khannie. You understand why I didn’t exactly move in to my mom’s place to ask her all my questions. None of my siblings can do this but they’re also half Mom and half Step-Father. So I have more Creation than they do. I don’t think I could do it again without Mom. But I’m sure as hell not testing it. This is enough responsibility.
But…I kinda painted what I wanted and it just started moving. They should be a year old but they have history and everything. I don’t get it. But I also don’t get how I get so much info out of just looking at it.”

Adea basically glanced at Aiko’s world painting and identified the problem immediately.

It’s impossible to tell if it’s on purpose or for effect; but a trout suddenly pops into existence. Kol ducks without even looking at it.
”I don’t know fish biology well but I can make them just fine.”
Kol probably doesn’t know about Arthfael’s creations but Khannie might realize the same applies to that.
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Re: PREP Highschool

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[Apologies]

"It's fine, 'I don't know' is a good answer," Khannie replies, trying to make sure that this stuff doesn't get heated or whatever. "I'm just... this is a whole lotta stuff to take in at once. I'm trying really hard not to think too much about how my boyfriend and his whole world only exists 'cuz your mom decided to make it on a whim."

That IS quite a bit to take in, being fair.

But then, this seems a lot like Arthfael's enchantment. Just, like, creating things willy nilly.

"I dunno it's like... There's something else involved? I dunno what it would be but this is like my illusions, kinda. I dunno all the details about what I make but SOMETHING must be. Maybe that's just how working with chaos is?"

And then fish!

Khannie watches it flop to the floor.

"Umm... should we take it to the lake before it dies or something?"
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Re: PREP Highschool

Post by Keeper »

Apologies

”Oh no. Our world was created when Mom and Step-Father came together and created it together as a much more normal divine creation sort of thing. Problem is that when their marriage fell apart she stopped caring as much I guess. I mean she cheated on him, made me, then abandoned us both to paint in a swamp somewhere. Which is um. Why our world doesn’t exist. Anymore. It fell apart. And that’s why I accused her of lots of indirect murder.”
Lots of indirect murder.

Khannie turns to Kol to ask a question! As soon as the fish leaves her field of view it vanishes out of existence. The fish Kol conjures do that sometimes.
”I’m sure it’s fine. Oh, see there it goes. Weird fish.”
They come and go around Kol. When he accidentally conjures rocks or water they tend to stick around.
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Re: PREP Highschool

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[Mad Science Building]

"Mai" busies herself cleaning the ungodly mess that the incident left behind. But she keeps her ears peeled for the kids' conversation. These lenses sound dangerous and they might need help again. Of course, as a janitor, she really can't know anything about it, can she?

(As a matter of fact, she really doesn't know a lot about such devices so feigning ignorance is remarkably easy.)
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Re: PREP Highschool

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[Apologies]

Wow.

Have you ever seen Khannie look absolutely horrified before? Initially she was thinking about the stories of divine creation she's read about and being curious but apparently Arthfael's whole world and everyone in it imploded because some absent minded artist just...

Got bored.

Khannie suddenly appreciates her mother's hands off approach more.

Is it time to sit down?

It's time to sit down.

She hardly even notices the trout vanish.

Somewhere a lich laughs.

"Maybe I'm thinking about this wrong," Khannie says. "Maybe this isn't even special? I grew up in a world a buncha people made up. So did dad. So did auntie Geneva and uncle Nick. Maybe... all it takes to make a world is a-"

She flexes her fingers, conjuring an illusion of a plant about the size of a baseball above her palm. It's a beautiful little ball of blues and greens and browns, swirls of white clouds decorating it.

"-dream? If any story can be a world then why not all of them? Were they around before they got imagined up? What the heck does real really mean, anyway?"

Oh no.

You got her monologing existentially, Kol.
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Re: PREP Highschool

Post by Halae »

[Mad Science Building]

"May I see it?" Skye asks, reaching for the immense emerald. Assuming she's allowed to grab it, Skye will start channeling some of her essence through it - divine essence of the Aurora, even if it's corrupt, should still reveal something about the tablet.
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Re: PREP Highschool

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[An Act Of Bullying in Progress!]

The cold times are setting in and Asami has been shivering all day, her corona noticeably having diminished to a near invisible level. But! The oppressive weather won't stop her from doing what she does best. She gets out of her last class of the day with high spirits, cheerfully wandering the halls. With the student body shuffling off to their after-school activity or back to their homes/dorms, this was the prime time for some bullying, as Asami had nowhere else to be. As if right on queue, she happened upon a halfling girl carrying a sizable stack of books. Immediately, Asami salivates over her pinky finger and sneaks up behind this other student, swiftly shoving the wet finger into the halfling's ear and twisting it a little. Before the victim has time to react, Asami uses her free arm to put them in a headlock. "Eep! H-hey, cut it out! That's gross!" exclaims the halfling. "Uh, yeah, that's kinda the point," says Asami nonchalantly.

Asami getting physical is not an unusual sight. Though, with how much less energetic she seems today, it seems like the perfect time for a bystander to do something about it.
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Re: PREP Highschool

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[Mad Science Building]

"Sure, just be careful okay?"
Khannie says as she offers the tablet to Skye. Not because it's expensive (it's definitely that, an emerald that size is inestimably valuable) but because it's precious historical knowledge that needs to be decoded. Depending on whether or not Skye is involved in Alchemy classes before she might have heard of an Emerald Tablet before, but this couldn't possibly be the actual original. Right?

...right?

And then Skye decides to channel essence through it.

This does not reveal what is written on the tablet, which is no doubt some esoteric text.

What the channeling reveals is something else completely.

A story.

There was once One who was alone. This One could not know, since there was nothing to be known against. So the One MADE and into this the One poured shattered Essence. The Essence would grope and seek and learn to bring forth the precious from the base until the Essence understood that all is One. That as it is above, so it is below. As it is below, so it is above. And in that moment the One would be whole again and at last the One would know.

Khannie shrugs at the light show and pulls out one of the scrolls. "The language on these things is different form the tablet thingy. It's SORTA like Etruscan but not exactly? Some of this stuff looks like astronomical charts I THINK the guy in the tower was looking for something."
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Re: PREP Highschool

Post by Halae »

[Mad Science Building]

Skye blinks her eyes open, "It's a prophecy tablet, storing a conceptual point for a story of... hmmm. It's a creation myth, but not holding enough detail when removed from its religion, and an end of days prophecy related to that beginning. Seems like the usual demon cult nonsense."

Skye, however, looks disturbed. The concept of all being one is... well, her power makes other people a bit more of herself, as she injects a shard of her spirit into them. They become one mind, one power. Given that Skye is terrified of her own abilities, this has a kind of resonance that makes her deeply concerned.
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Re: PREP Highschool

Post by Keeper »

Apologies

Okay there it is, Khannie finally comprehended what Kol meant at the start of this conversation.
"If it helps, Step-father Absum got a LOT of people out. More than you'd expect a destroyer-god to have been able to pull off."
Oh no, now Khannie is thinking all existentially!
Kol sits down next to her. "Well, it turns out I'm not a Nexus native, but I was still raised as if I was. So I think it's always important to remember that fiction is fiction, but sometimes reality looks like fiction. Potential can be anything and potential is limitless so questioning this sort of thing mostly just makes your head hurt. I'll tell you the same thing I told them: the universe is better with you in it. The how and why don't matter."
Hey wait a second how would he have-

An Act of Bullying in Progress

Asami's little show is interrupted by one of the largest students in the school lumbering by: a big purple dragon the size of a rhinoceros who stops by the pair of girls to narrow his eyes at Asami.
"Don't you have somewhere better to be?" he growls at Asami. Almost literally in his case, being a dragon.
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Re: PREP Highschool

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[Bullying in Progress]

Asami, being as easily as distracted as she is, turns to Kol as the helplessly trapped halfling is left to whimper. "Hm? No, bully club doesn't meet today and i'm in no rush to get back to my dorm," says Asami cluelessly.
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Re: PREP Highschool

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Earl of Purple wrote: Nov 05, 2023 11:59 am Ecbatana

The first thing that becomes clear is that Immonia is not on the river. To begin with, it's built atop a hill with a hollow in the middle of it, filled with steaming, sulphurous water; a lake heated by volcanism deep below. The first settlers live in grass huts, and build platforms for their dead. When the flesh is gone, the bones are taken out and cast into the lake. Eventually a spider crawls out, bone-white with a skull-shaped abdomen. The people immediately build a temple, first out of mud bricks, then later stone quarried from nearby. Walls are added, and houses are built. It's a very militaristic city; a field at the bottom of the hill is cleared and used for military displays, and nearly everyone owns a spear and some armour. Squads of soldiers go out, and return with prisoners who are tied to rocks covered in runes and writing and thrown into the steaming lake. Eventually there's a coup, and the current royal family takes over. No longer do raids go out; instead, every citizen pulls a tooth out of their heads and gifts it to the temple. Once at a ritual of adulthood, again at marriage, and the birth of a couple's first and seventh children, and every time a tooth falls out for other reasons. The gates are open, trade increases, and soldiers get rarer- replaced by marching scarecrows of straw and human leather. It all ends when an army turns up, a horde of orcs and humans. Many ride goats, most of the rest are clearly infantry, but there are exceptions. Several cities have already been captured, and there's four spindly-legged elephants bearing loremasters striding amongst a regiment of lamellar-clad arquebusiers, a rowdy group of halflings whose leaders wear stilts and a group of gladiators corralling a four-headed hydra.

Immonia was a rival, and a threat; but the last regime were less hostile to their neighbours than the previous one.
[Ecbatana]

Which is, of course, all very fascinating. Were Aiko of a more ambitious mindset, she might take this as an opportunity dropped directly in her lap. A military city-state, within her power to restore, its leader a subordinate in her court? This is the sort of situation that might lead to a full-blown empire, if properly curated. She could rebuild Immonia's armies and add them to her own, and with their combined might go on to systematically conquer the whole of the Whispering Sea. Or rather, re-conquer it... that some amount already feared Aigothurz's banner would make the job easier, if less momentous.

...

But then, that wasn't her job.

Aiko turns back toward the bushbaby. "...I'm only your city's caretaker. I'll see to her health, the safety of her citizens, and the prosperity of her markets, but in the end, this city is yours. Now that you see Immonia and what she means for your city... what would you have me do with her?"
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

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Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: PREP Highschool

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Bullying in Progress

"Well then I would personally suggest you catch up on some studying." Kol adds, sticking his nose closer to Asami so he can do a proper dragony glower.
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Re: PREP Highschool

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[Bullying in Progress]

"Come on, man, my classes just ended for the day. I'm not gonna immediately go and study," she complains. Kol glowering causes her to tilt her head curiously. Suddenly feeling awkward, Asami takes her finger out of the halfling's ear (who in turn sighs with relief) to scratch the back of her head with said hand. "Ahem~ What are you doing?" asks Asami curiously.
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Re: PREP Highschool

Post by Earl of Purple »

Outside Class- Hunters

"...No, you aren't. But I keep on expecting you to, so I'm staying wary. Be better, Asami. You've got the potential to be a great person, and you squander it on bullying and being mean." Agate glares, before sighing and turning away, striding away from Asami and dismissing her pistol and Magical Girl getup.

Ecbatana

Formerly militaristic. Its prior dynastic rulers held the city for at least a century and perhaps longer, long enough for the militarised population to die out before Aigothurz came along. And any survivors are unlikely to be soldiers, though perhaps the descendants of Immonia's people have become soldiers. Before, it relied on the scarecrow-warriors like the dancing assassin behind the screen in Aikobaz' bathroom.

The bushbaby watched it all with wide eyes and tilted head, and when asked it turns to Aikobaz and taps its spindly fingers against the stone of the city's walls- the same stone used in the palace. At least some trade took place, in masonry at least. Ecbatana also will manipulate the dream, zooming out from Immonia to its own city, showing Aikobaz a slum area of crude housing and poverty. There are those that would welcome the opportunity a new city represents, even if they are not Immonian by descent.
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Re: PREP Highschool

Post by Rebonack »

[Apologies]

Khannie's gaze is fixed on the intricately detailed illusion of a planet she conjured up. She takes a depth breath before poofing out her cheeks and blowing. A very contemplative sort of sigh.

"No, I mean... it doesn't matter much to me that maybe I'm fictional, if that even means anything. I'm real to me so who cares? But if I imagine that this world I'm dreaming up is... I dunno... like a world with humans and pokemon except the pokemon are all big robots that people ride around in instead of magical animals does that suddenly make that a thing? Or is the cosmos just SO BIG that anything I imagine is already a thing somewhere?"

Oh no.

That world sounds wicked sick.

"Maybe that doesn't matter, either. I've read a whole lotta cosmogonies, Kol. Y'know, stories about worlds being created. In nearly all of 'em the Dreamheart, or something like it I guess, was already there and the gods just sorta popped out of it. Or they found the Dreamheart and shaped a world outta it. Or in a couple the god IS the Dreamheart and the world is the Dreamheart dreaming about itself. We've all got these dreams and the Dreamheart makes 'em real."
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Re: PREP Highschool

Post by Keeper »

Apologies

From where she’s sitting Khannie might notice two other paintings on the other wall: a small hut in a tranquil swamp and a lonely tower at night.

”Robots you ride around in? Like Eureka Seven?” he’s not really sure how a Pokémon could also be a mech. Unless it’s Golurk.
”I dunno, that sounds pretty reductive. I’ve read a lot of stories too and none of them mentioned the Dreamheart. Just because it’s kinda similar doesn’t mean your thing applies to all the worlds.”

Bullying in Progress

Kol continues to glower.
”It’s my dragon glare. We’re expected to be able to intimidate people with a look. You are intimidated and will leave that kid alone.” Kol replies flatly.
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Re: PREP Highschool

Post by Rebonack »

[Apologies]

"No sorta like Zoids. BIG robots you hop inside of," Khannie clarifies. "But they're still smart 'cuz they've got AI or something. So you and your team of five other pokemon do battles together."

Khannie is pretty sure it would be really cool.

But it also wouldn't be a completely idyllic world full of cute pterodactyl people. Kol's world sounds nice but maybe not a place that would make a very interesting story.

"The Dreamheart's just a name for it. The Egyptians and Osyrians called it Nu. To the Sumerians it was Tiamat and Apsu before they were divided into fresh and salt. The Hebrews called it Hatahowm, The Deep. The Greeks called is Khaos. And a zillion others. A cosmic ocean, whatever you wanna call it. An ocean of primordial darkness that surrounds the world."

She gives Kol a scrutinizing look. "What stories have you even been reading where there's no cosmic ocean?"

Probably new ones from modern fantasy.

All the stories that Khannie is referencing are ancient. She DOES like history, after all.
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Re: PREP Highschool

Post by [brackets lover] »

[Outside Class - Hunters]

Asami wipes the tears from her eyes, gently following after Agate without full-on chasing. "I wouldn't say great. There's nothing really special about me... Erm, you're right, I should be better," she says remorsefully, "You might die because of a wish? How... how long do you have left?"

[Bullying in Progress]

Asami tilts her head, clearly unphased by Kol. "At least let me do the other side first. Who wants to walk around with only one of their ears being all wet?" asks Asami shamelessly. "That doesn't even make any- Kya! Stop..." says the halfling in response, earning a finger shoved in her other ear for her troubles.

Asami turns to Kol, giving him a warm and energetic smile. "Anyways, I don't believe we've met before? My name's Asami, what's yours?"
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Re: PREP Highschool

Post by Morty »

[Mad Science Building]

A prophecy? Now that's something Hiep has to be on lookout for. She surreptitiously moves behind Skye and (hoping to be overlooked) tries to peer above her shoulder at the tablet.
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Re: PREP Highschool

Post by Rebonack »

[Mad Science Building]

The tablet itself is likely not a language that would be recognized. It's a hieroglyphic language, but not like the one Skye is familiar with. Nor is it like the one Khannie is most familiar with, namely ancient Egyptian. It's something else completely.

Khannie is hoping that once she's got the scrolls translated they might contain a translation of the tablet itself. And with THAT information she should be able to add whatever this langue is to her collection of dead languages.

Also?

She perks up when Skye mentions the result of her essence channeling? "Wait, it's a cosmogony AND a eschatology? That's cool, they don't always come paired. What's it say?"

It is notable that the writing on the tablet doesn't actually convey the story. But the channeling of the essence through it somehow brought it forth.

As Khannie is talking she spreads her thumbs and crosses her hands tight against each other. When she spreads them out again there's a sheet of darkness suspended between them, which she places against the surface of one of the scrolls. The shadows begin to slowly creep across the parchment, slowly forming into letters Khannie can read.
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