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Porthca Landing III: Burned Bridges & Broken Chains

Ash-6116

Senior Member
Tyrius ate quietly, though with a smile on his face. It was good to see Eliza smiling and being upbeat. Not to mention the calming effect Rin seemed to have just by being around. Glancing over to Abrahms and Terminus, Tyrius wondered how the panther would react when the wyverns hatched. Playful? Afraid? It gave Tyrius more to think about, as he realised he could try and use the time to the group's advantage in more ways than one. From the way Niradnam had talked, it sounded as if they'd have to investigate the disturbance at Azarad while appearing to not be investigating the disturbance at Azarad. What better cover than a former student who was thinking about returning for further study and reading library books. Especially since Tyrius could use the cover of trying to fit in as just a visiting alumni to research wyverns in addition to their actual goal.

Just as quickly as the idea came to mind, Tyrius found himself almost dismissing it. Checking books out on wyverns would leave a paper trail. A paper trail that would look very suspicious in light of what Niradnam had reported to his supervisor. There was also the small matter of the campus being in lock down. Normally, Tyrius could've gone back easily enough, but with the lock down came problems. 'Best to cross that bridge when we come to it.' thought Tyrius.

With the group moving out of the cafe in time and heading back to Azarad with a little light window shopping, Tyrius helped Rin carry some of her purchases as he tried to work out how to talk his way back onto campus if needed. 'Could always claim Valerie hired me as a guide or something,' thought Tyrius.
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad:

Apparently finished with the conversation in the Ancient Star, the group collected themselves and headed back to the campus after a small side trip to an herbalist shop, followed by a candy store where a few made purchases of strange magical treats. During the walk, Niradnam attempted to answer some of Tyrius' questions on wyverns, noting that a few written legends and stories claimed the heroes rode on wyverns, since dragons proper were too proud to be mere mounts, however great villains also claimed the creatures as allies as well. The only things well recorded for them were killing methods as they could be threats to small villages and livestock.

Ultimately the group returned to the Azarad Gate, Niradnam taking a moment to adjust his clothes and clean himself up while speaking, "So we will chat in a little while, just to, ah, make sure everyone's settling in fine in the city, since we'll be split up and it may not be easy to get in touch with each other." He nodded quickly towards the Gate, "Hopefully Lady Valerie can get her classes sorted even though her joining was delayed, and the rest of you find out how interesting Azarad truly can be. I suggest as a place to say to look for The Singing Frog. Stayed there a few times myself, it's mostly known for being where most new bards give their first performances, so that could be ... good or bad, depending on how you look at it."

Finally situated, with Egnaro on his shoulders, the egg back in its holder, the scholar walked up to the Gate and pulled out his pin, resting it on his palm while a feminine hum became louder. "I'm returning to campus, along with my companion Rinmerrion Bristlebloom, students Tyrius Silverban and Eliza Carabelli, and, er, tardy for registration but still here, Lady Valerie Rhitegast with her ..." he glanced at Lestone for a moment who shrugged, "... manservant ...?" he finished weakly.

"Lady Valerie Rhitegast was expected on the premises over a year ago," the Gate replied plainly. Silent for a moment it continued, "The payment for her first semester has been used for another."

Niradnam looked confused, "... for another? How was that allowed? The funds should have been held for when she arrived."

Another hum, "I am not the administration, I am merely the Gate. As an intended student, she may enter to speak with faculty. However she is not allowed to wander without supervision." It almost sounded like the gate giggled, "Congratulations Scholar Niradnam, you have another person to keep an eye on!"

The mystic sighed as his placed a hand on his brow. "Fine ... as long as it means she can enter." Turning to the others he waved, "Hopefully you all find something interesting, maybe talk again later." Stepping through the gateway, Tyrius, Eliza, Niradnam, Lestone, Rinmerrion and Valerie were allowed entry, along with Egnaro and Wayne Jr, however the rest of the group found an invisible wall greeting them if they tried to push through, the other group moving across the courtyard.

Crossing his arms, Niradnam tapped his chin, "Someone else used the funds sent for you ... strange. Perhaps someone else in your family? Regardless, we need to pay attention to what we say now that we're back here. So, ah, as a 'new' student, Lady Valerie, would you like to try and speak with some of the professors I know to get an idea of what things are like here? Or first try to deal with whoever took your place?"

Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad | Slums Area:


Starting to learn the pattern of how Azarad was built, with nicer structures and streets closer to campus, Virra led the group as they branched out, finding the edges of the large city and therefor finding one of the darker areas. The sensation of magic was still strong here as it was anywhere else, but the sky was hard to find with the overlapping roofs and narrow streets, forcing the group at times to walk in single file.

Here most people look sunken in and ill-fed, the colors dreary and lacking. A few street vendors have set up shop in one of the rare open areas, the cart looking ramshackle and their items strangely too valuable for the area, the glint of fine jewels and pristine gold. Those more aware of the surroundings notice no one even looks at the carts, however the merchants eagerly look towards the newcomers, grins across their faces as they stand straighter and dust off their items.

One of them, a orange furred tabaxi grins the widest as he motions towards his items, "Welcome, welcome! Let Three Stripe offer you his wares, see how they shimmer in what little light makes it here? Truly a diamond in the rough for anyone willing to seek!" Giving a small bow he smiles again, tail tip flicking back and forth, "Come, come, tell Three Stripe what you seek so he may attempt to find."
 
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Carwyn - Alexey

Junior Member
Rinmerrion enjoys herself as they leave the Ancient Star, slipping the money for the bill into Valerie’s bag whilst she isn’t looking, and head out shopping. Sure to her word she picks up a watering can from a gardening vendor and hands it to Tyrius to carry with a smile and a gentle pat on his arm.

At The Dreaming Veil she finds a delightful selection of teas and tisanes. She picks up a number of small boxes worth of interesting ones and spends the time explaining to any of the group who are willing to listen; the properties and types of plants each tea comes from. When they reach the Dew Drop she is amazed to find Shorian candy, made from sweet tree sap and flower petals, and she promptly buys a box but doesn’t interfere with the others when they are looking at more magical ones.

When they reach the gate she looks up at Niradnam, spotting a gentle smile on the walk which had made her curious, and watches how the student tries to make himself look more formal and presentable. Smiling to herself she brushes a small bit of dust from the bottom of his coat as he talks to the rest of the group. The elderly gnome bustles over to Virra and gives her a quick hug as they prepare to part company, looking to all of the ones who are staying outside. “Stay safe, each one of you. Keep in touch and let’s try our best.”

She looks as confused as Niradnam at the proclamation by the gate of the usage of Valerie’s funds. She knows, from paying for Alli’s schooling, just how expensive the fees are in Azarad. Losing that amount of money could be devastating but to have it spent by someone else, well that was simply tragic. She is silent as they walk into the courtyard, the click clack of her staff on the stones helping her to think for a moment. Absentmindedly she reaches up and runs a hand over the carved blossom at the top of the staff.

“I was going to suggest we go to the gardens so that I could speak to the plants but…”
She trails off, concern in her voice as she looks towards Valerie. “This seems like it might be more pressing dear. Would you like to speak to someone in charge about it?” The old gnome turns her attention to Niradnam. “Nirry sweetie, what do you think? Would we all be able to accompany Valerie in this?” Rin thinks for a moment, tapping her chin before looking back to Valerie. “That is, if you would want us to come.”
 

WetHawk

One Thousand Club
Having finished her meal excitedly thinking about the prospect of being able to communicate with Wayne Junior, Valerie briefly disputed over the payment of the bill, wanting to make sure that their waitress received a generous tip for the excellent meal they had. Winning the short debate, she paid no mind to the nibbling at her ear and light screeching from Wayne Junior as she closed her purse and stood to leave, idly rubbing his beak. "Wayne Junior, you are going to need to behave yourself if anyone is going to believe you are a familiar. Act good and I will be sure to get you more meat next meal, alright?" The hawk cawed his protest but fell silent soon after, glancing down towards Rin briefly with an inquisitive look before fluttering to take his place, claws hooked around the straps of Valerie's purse.

Happily following after Rin as she opted to go shopping, Valerie quickly scanned through the stock of The Dreaming Veil, her eyes almost immediately falling upon a collection of those odd potions she had taken a liking to. Pausing for a moment to gawk at one vial that hopped about in a tiny cage towards the person who approached nearest to it, she then looked up towards the merchant with a smile. "I will take every mystery potion that you have. I am certain that an arrangement can be made for buying in bulk, yes?" Negotiating a reasonable discount, the young noble happily loaded her newly procured potions into her bag, stopping as she came to the hopping one and smiling to it as it hopped up to her. "Hello there, friend. What do you do?" The potion had no response. Shrugging slightly, Valerie decided to place it in her purse for now, rather than risk drawing further attention to herself and her companions. The next stop at the candy store was also rather curious. There, they encountered an odd avian fellow that made a habit of repeating sentences back at them. Valerie was tempted to do much the same with her own natural talents before she realized how that could potentially be seen as rude and insulting towards someone that is only able to speak in mimicries. Still, she purchased a bat shaped candy from the merchant and waved goodbye, heading off to the gates of the University of Azarad.

Saying her goodbyes to her friends and straightening out her blouse and skirt, Valerie adopted a more cold and dignified expression than usual as she approached the gate slightly behind Niradnam, shooting an annoyed glance back at Lestone every now and again as she got into character. As she heard the gate's revelation that someone else had taken her place at the school however, Valerie's planned demeanor was immediately thrown off. She idly fingered the ring on her hand as she attempted to sort through her thoughts. Is that how that even works? I suppose I did disappear off of the face of Okesh, but I certainly did not expect this.... Valerie was unsure how she felt about this. Truth be told, she had still only planned to use admittance to the school as a cover story in order to gain access to the university and she had little intention of abandoning her friends any time soon, but there was a part of her that felt comforted by knowing that in the future when she was ready, she could come here to learn some talents of her own. Now...

Hearing Niradnam and RIn address her snapped the young warlock back to the present, and helped focus her on what mattered most. Hesitating only briefly, Valerie shook her head to them both. "No, I... well yes, I suppose that this is an issue that I am going to need to get to the bottom of, seeing as that is why I was admitted entry, but it most certainly does not take precedence over the far more pressing matters." She smiled to Rin slightly. "I appreciate your concern Mrs. Rinmerrion, but your work is by far more important and I would be loath to distract you from it. If I must speak with the administrators immediately, it would be for the best if it were only Lestone and I to go, perhaps Mr. Niradnam as well if he is required to escort me."
 

DevilishEgg

Member
The Azarad ex-student's glared at the gate, "That...is quite outrageous." Eliza sputtered out the comment hitting far too close to home. "What in the world is the meaning of this? They can't just use someone's money like that." She knew she was taking it a tad too personally and tried to recover the her last shreds of dignity realizing it was properly not her place to butt in Valerie's business. No one had taken her place or money, that wasn't why she had left, but still...

She fumed silently, her eyebrows furrowed as the now too familiar tiny sparks crackled from her fingertips. Pressing two fingers to her temple, she tooklet out a long sigh trying to calm down. She definitely did not want Azarad to sense her pain, the entire place be damned.

She patted Val on the shoulder instead and tried to cheer up the girl, "I am not surprised to see the people at Azarad mess something else up but I am sure you will figure this out, Val. We are here to support you every step of the way."
 

Wookie Nookie

New Year's, Baby!
"In Yondallas name I greet you Three stripe, may you forever be in her favour" Mags touched the holy symbol around her neck. It's wooden nature almost seemed out of place of the plate mail. She took a moment to poke around his wares before inquiring, "Given your prices friend. I'd almost think these things were magical. Tell me, what do they do?"

Mags what are you doing?

Talking to the Tabaxi..?

Don't you remember River Mist? That black coated thunder see you next tuesday that betrayed you?

Well of course I do Magnolia, but if we regard everyone with suspicion then how are we to make new friends?

...I swear on the gods I'd you don't stop leaping into things like this... You know what I will do.


A peculiar look crossed the halflings face, in it lied both concern and determination.
 

NotHaruka

Member
After failing to rouse the group to action immediately, Virra nonetheless enjoyed their brief shopping spree, and happily left The Dew Drop with her purse two platinum lighter than when she entered. From there it was only a short jaunt back to the University and a very confusing encounter with the Gate voice. "...Wait, the heck?" she said, her temper flaring up just like Eliza's. "You can't do that! That's Val's money, you can't just toss it to someone else, I mean -- what the heck's going on here?"

When no answers were forthcoming, she sank into a mutinous silence until the time came for the group to split in half. Only then did she realise that she hadn't raised the topic of her dream with Niradnam. Later, she resolved. After we've solved the monster mystery and kicked Professor O'Kill in the shin.

Still, there was a lot of legwork to put in before that could happen. After waving off the others at the invisible wall and turning back towards town, Virra led her fellow investigators to the seedier side of Azarad. She'd only had to follow her nose; never before had she seen a city without a slum. It was almost a relief to be addressed by the tabaxi in the street, saving Virra from needing to plan her own approach. Having Mags speak first was just as lucky, since it gave her time to stare appreciatively at the cat-man. Gosh, there were such amazing kinds of people in the world...

Shaking herself, she put on a beaming smile and stepped up next to Mags. "Right, what she said! We're super interested in finding some quality magic gear," she grinned.
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad:

Catching Valerie's glances, Lestone had to struggle to keep his expression neutral, smirking a few times as she turned back. As the group paused to decide their next path, the elemental coughed politely, "If I may, my Lady, perhaps investigating the mistaken ... paperwork?" his persona faded for a moment when he was unsure of the right word. "Uh ... anyway, speaking with the people in charge may allow other discussions in private." He scratched his cheek idly, "It may be a way to the most relevant people ...?"

Niradnam blinked at Lestone, "Huh ... that's more thought out than I might have, er, expected. Sorry, wasn't entirely sure what to expect from you." Turning to Rin, "I can lead Valerie at least to the relevant people, but at some point we likely won't be allowed in due to privacy between the student and the university. However, on the way, I can direct us to ..." he glanced around, "an ... interesting location in the history of the university. There are even some decorative plants not too far away, since I still need to keep an eye on Rinmerrion, even if she doesn't believe so."

Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad | Slums Area:


The tabaxi eagerly rubbed his furred hands together, "Three Stripe has many things, magical things indeed." Reaching over his stand he pressed a button and the display case expanded, showing even more items that shined and reflected, each placed in an attempt to catch someone's eye.

Pointing at some rings he explained, "These are all magical, yes, as Three Stripe says, wear one and never have to bathe again! Good for travelers, yes?" Drawing his hand over some bracelets, "These make your step lighter, do more with less! As if one floats above the ground, like a feather." Finally he placed a hand on a necklace, kept separate, "This, the pride of Three Stripe's collection, and truly he will be sad to see go, is a Necklace of Adaptation. Three Stripe went to great cost to find it, to aquire it. Good for adventurer type like yourselves, yes?"
 

WetHawk

One Thousand Club
As Eliza and Virra both spoke up at her current financial situation, Valerie offered the gnome a reassuring smile. “Do not worry, I am sure we will figure this out. Mr. Niradnam can help I am sure, he is very clever.” Valerie may not be particularly adept at reading people, but even she could tell that Virra held the secretly elvish man’s abilities in high regard, so she hoped that would reassure her.

Turning to Eliza as the groups began to split, she gave her a warm smile and a nod. “Thank you Eliza, I appreciate it.” Stepping a little closer, she lowered her voice considerably. “Do not worry about me too much, it is only money. I have everything that I could possibly need with all of you. Besides, solving the mystery here as soon as possible so that we can help your parents is far more important.” The young noble’s expression dimmed slightly. “I am afraid that I have never been particularly good with mysteries, but I promise to do my best.”

Listening to Lestone, Valerie nodded to him eagerly. “Oh yes, that is a very good thought, Lestone. Perhaps if I mention any rumors that I have heard in vague terms, they may volunteer something?” Pausing briefly as she remembered that she was supposed to be cold to Lestone, she then adopted a snootier expression and slid her purse over her shoulder, pressing it into the elemental’s hands. “If only you were paid to think. Why am I the one holding my personal affects? Were you trained by apes, or do you merely share their manners?”

Scoffing as she fell back into character, she turned to Niradnam at his suggestion and made a curt nod. “Very well, I would not mind a tour of the university that I will be attending once those buffoons at admissions are sorted out. I swear, if Grandfather had lived to see the sorry state that this school has fallen in to, he would have demanded back every copper that he ever donated to this wretched place.” With an audible ‘hmph’ and a crossing off her arms, the young warlock turned away from Niradnam before she hesitated and the facade dropped, her gaze wandering back to the others as she asked quietly. “Was that too much?”
 
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Ash-6116

Senior Member
Tyrius stood in front of the gate mildly listening to the conversation going on around him. He was completely surprised at the idea that Valerie's funding had been used for someone else. If it were money coming from her family, as far as Tyrius was aware it should have been held for when Valerie attended the university. As it was, there was little use getting indignant until they knew who had loused up.

'I doubt it'll be much of a problem if there was a foul up,' thought Tyrius, willing to believe the university would fix the mistake.

"Eliza's right though," said Tyrius after they'd gone past the gate. "We're with you all the way."

'You, your patron and her son,' added Tyrius in his mind, though it wasn't malicious at all. More surprise at how many people they had travelling with them.

At Valerie's question about it being too much, Tyrius chuckled a little. "Oh trust me, The Gate's heard far worse." commented the sorcerer, "Don't think Benito could've portrayed 'entitled noble' any better than that."
 

NotHaruka

Member
"Oooh." Virra leaned over to get a better look at the tabaxi's trinkets, mouth half open in awe. Finding herself a little bit swayed by his sales pitch in spite of herself, she sent a quick mental message to Mags. "Hey, can you tell if any of this stuff's actually magical?" Virra didn't imagine she'd be allowed to spend an hour inspecting every one of them, no matter how desperate Three Stripes was for a sale.

She made a show of examing them all the same, sucking on her lip as she pulled her coin purse out. "Actually, Mr Stripe, I was wondering..." She paused, looking left and right suspiciously. Then she brought a hand to the side of her mouth to whisper confidentially to the cat-man. "See, I've got this friend who goes to the University, and she really needs to get out more," she explained with a surreptitious wink. "D'you have anything that could help with that?"
 

Carwyn - Alexey

Junior Member
Rin grins wildly at Valerie's performance and nods in agreement with Tyrius, keeping her voice low for the response. "My dear that was a perfect portrayal of many of the nobles I have met. You are a wonderful actress. Keep it up." She falls into place near the back of the group, her staff clicking and clacking as they walk towards their destination. Eventually she looks to Niradnam and smiles fondly. "Nirry sweetie, would it be easier for you if Tyrius was to accompany me to the gardens and you accompany Valerie? I know you were assigned to look out for me but I should be fine under the watchful eye of Tyrius. He is a graduate after all, doesn't that mean he technically outranks you?" Her smile is so sweet it could be used to bake a cake with.

She moves up to the sorcerer and pats his arm warmly. "Plus I am sure that Tyrius here is more than up to the task of keeping up with me. I will only be talking to flowers after all." She looks up to Tyrius and smiles. "That is if you don't mind lad?" With his arm wrapped around by hers she starts to speed up just enough to make it a slight jog for the sorcerer, without really appearing to move much quicker herself. Her tone continues to be warm and motherly as she talks to Tyrius and then to Eliza. "Come on dear, let's get to the garden yes? You too Eliza dear, I would really appreciate your input on all of this."
 

Ash-6116

Senior Member
Tyrius gave Rin an awkward smile. It might technically be true, but Tyrius still saw Niradnam as an equal. Rank meant nothing to Tyrius in that regard. Offering her his arm, Tyrius gave Rin a smile. "My pleasure." said the sorcerer. As Rin took off, Tyrius was mildly surprised how energetic Rin really was, though Tyrius wasn't out of shape much compared to the average person himself.

"Did you spend much time in the gardens, Eliza?" asked Tyrius, wondering if Eliza had spent her time int he library like he had, or had opted to roam the campus and find somewhere outside to study. "So, how is it you talk to flowers?" asked Tyrius, wondering how much of what Rin practised he could understand.
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad:

Taking the strange magic bag from Valerie, Lestone dipped his head to hide his smirk as he rested it on his shoulder.

Niradnam merely sighed, "Unfortunately you sound very similar to some of the students that demand I tutor them." Seeing Rinmerrion start to leave with Tyrius, Niradnam's form seemed to flicker for a moment only to disappear and reappear in front of Rin and Tyrius, Egnaro's claws dug deep into the fabric around his shoulders. "Did you not hear what I said? We can go together on the way to helping sort out Lady Valerie's issue." The scholar frowned, "My name is Niradnam, and he does not 'outrank' me merely because he graduated. Please don't try to take advantage of my split attention, Rinmerrion Bristlebloom."

Crossing his arms he stared at the elderly gnome, "We will go as a group where we need to go." Pausing he knelt lower to be closer to Rin's height, speaking softer, "You know the issues I've been dealing with, but you still try to make things difficult for me?"

Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad | Slums Area:


Three Stripe smiled at seeing Virra's interest, gently adjusting some of the pieces to shine even more. He leaned in as she tried to whisper, his ears flicking as she pulled away. He studied the deep gnome for a moment then started to put his wares away, "Three Stripe thinks she shouldn't have gone to Azarad in the first place. Snooty magelings, too good for Three Stripe and his wares."
 

Carwyn - Alexey

Junior Member
Rin looks unimpressed by the disappearing and reappearing routine, although maybe a little curious on the actual specifics on it. She fixes Niradnam with a fairly blank stare but raises one eyebrow slightly. "Do you think little tricks will cow me into some sort of submission young man? Is that really what you are trying to do here? Shame on you little Nirry, attempting to scare an old woman into following a few overbearing rules with some shows of magical force." She pauses for a moment and looks straight at the student. "I have spent days telling you to call me Rin and yet you persist in being so formal and archaic. When you decide to call me what I have requested then I will do the same. It is common courtesy lad, something that is clearly lacking in your education it seems."

Taking her hand off Tyrius' arm as Niradnam leans down she frowns at him, showing displeasure for really the first time. "One thing my dear, if I really wanted to make things difficult for you I would turn myself into an insect and you would never find me. I have my own tricks too. I have been trying to liven your days up, since you have spent every day I have known you frowning so hard it is like you are trying to make it permanent." Her voices softens a little again although it still contains a hint of disappointment. "Another thing, if we are supposed to act as if nothing has changed why would you attempt to make me feel guilty for that? To be honest I expected a little better from you after everything so far today."

The elderly gnome steps back next to Tyrius and takes his arm again, looking away from Niradnam and towards the sorcerer finally to address his question to her. "Natural magic my boy, that's how you talk to plants. You make a magical connection with the area around you and it allows you to connect to the plants." She gestures to the watering can in Tyrius' arms. "We will water them first though so that they are more inclined to talk to us about that and not about wanting a drink."
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad:

Niradnam's dual-color eyes stayed fixed on Rin as she spoke, only looking away once she broke the eye contact. "I use your full name because where I come from, it's a sign of respect ... shortened names are for children or insulting an adult." Covering his face with his hands he stayed crouched briefly before finally pushing himself to standing. "The sooner I can go back to my research, the sooner I'll stop 'frowning so hard'."

Dusting himself off once more, without another word he motioned for the group to follow him, Egnaro watching the group as they trailed behind, tip of his tail flicking. As the group walked, a bell rung out across the area, suddenly the sparse hallways and pathways were filled with students of various ages, many of them wearing pins on their collars without anything filled in. A few waved to Niradnam and Rin, some she recognized as those who had asked here and there about her writing, while the few that tried to catch Niradnam's attention before he continued past attempted to make mention of grades or study sessions. Many of the students gave the rest of the retinue interested looks, especially with Valerie's fine dress and Lestone following in her wake. Once again the inner structures were like a maze as Niradnam opened doors back and forth, as if following some strange sense of direction considering nothing seemed to make much sense.

Finally he brought the group to a balcony with a garden that trailed over the edge, well tended shrubbery and trees marked the corners while flowers were laid out in a pattern of flame, which when a breeze moved over them looked as though it flickered like real fire. Finally he spoke again, "This is one of the gardens you may not have known about, Rinmerrion, considering it's tucked away near the administration buildings that students and guests normally aren't allowed into. Considering your studies, I thought you might wish to see this, perhaps it could even use some care from a master botanist."

Tipping his head towards Tyrius and Eliza, "If you two would like to stay here for a few moments, I can guide Lady Valerie where she needs to go for sorting out her concerns." Motioning for Valerie and Lestone to follow him, the scholar approached a heavier looking door and pushed it open, leading into what looked like a small office where a human woman sat behind a desk, glancing up at the trio that entered.

Adjusting her glasses she peered at the three, "...hm, is that you Niradnam? Has Professor Oqill sent you to collect something? I don't have anything for him today..." she started to dig through the stacks of paper on her desk.

Clearing his throat, Niradnam shook his head, "No, I'm just guiding someone around campus briefly -- this is Lady Valerie Rhitegast and the Gate mentioned the funds her family had paid were used for someone else. She asked me to take her to whoever she'd need to sort things out."

The woman looked up from her papers and squinted at Valerie, "I see, hm ... Unfortunately the Bursar is currently dealing with Maestro Zorei-Hanari about er," she shuffled some pages, "... trying to get her classes added to the offered Colleges."

Leaning on the desk, Niradnam tapped it with a finger, "I see. Any idea how much longer she'll be?" His answer was a shrug as he sighed.
 

DevilishEgg

Member
Eliza played along with Val’s act as best she could, “Not bad. Not bad at all.” She commented with a grin. “Needs a touch more eye rolls and indignant huffs to be perfect though.”

The walk through Azarad saw a more subdued half-orc as she followed dutifully behind Niradnam, leaning more heavily on her staff as she sneaked glances at the other students as they hurried about the university like busy bees chasing behind grades and deadlines.

She hurried to catch up with the rest of them as Rin called her name then shuffled to stand awkwardly beside Tyrius as the argument broke out. She took a few steps back and frowned at Nirdanam’s magic. “Let’s not be reckless now...” She warned the secret psionic, and continued in a hushed tone, “I think we are all working towards a specific goal, right? The sooner we deal with this problem the sooner each of us gets back to their own business so let’s stay calm now.” She leaned back on her staff now, lecture given, and cleared her throat then gingerly shuffled behind Tyrius as they continued towards the gardens.

She looked up again as the sorcerer loomed tall, “Oh, well, I preferred to study in my dorm room. The library was always a tad too rowdy for my liking. I did enjoy the garden, my window overlooked one and I enjoyed studying the flowers...from a distance.” She admitted sheepishly looking anywhere but at Rin. “I always had plans on visiting one but it was always too hot or too cold or too...buggy.”
 

Ash-6116

Senior Member
With Niradnam suddenly appearing in front of them, Tyrius came to an odd stop. As Niradnam knelt lower and spoke to Rinmerrion, Tyrius counted the steady beats of Eliza's cane on the ground as she caught up. It didn't help that Rinmerrion seemed to be pretty agitated herself, just as much as Niradnam was. Tyrius tried to work out in his mind whether it was worth trying to split them up or just let them vent off at each other until they both calmed down.

Once things had calmed down and Niradnam had led them to a small balcony that Tyrius hadn't seen before. The flame pattern made Tyrius feel pretty comfortable, he could've sat in the garden with his diary and his pen and just written for hours happily. "Sure, we'll stay here Niradnam," said Tyrius, still holding the watering can in his left hand, his quarterstaff tucked into the crook of his left elbow.

Once Niradnam had gone, Tyrius turned to Eliza, "Too buggy? Not a fan of insects?" asked Tyrius. While he appreciated the role insects had in nature thanks to his father, Tyrius wasn't much of a fan of insects either. Looking to Rin, Tyrius asked her, "So, when you're talking to the flowers, will we still be able to understand what you're saying?"
 

WetHawk

One Thousand Club
Valerie stood a little paralyzed as the argument broke out between Niradnam and Rin. She absolutely detested it whenever her friends began to argue, and even though it had only been at most an hour, she already felt an attachment towards the elderly gnome. She wanted to say something to attempt to break up the disagreement, but was unsure of all the veiled phrases that the two were using. Ultimately, she ended up doing very little as the group seemed to settle into an awkward silence.

The young noble followed along after Niradnam as the group began to make their way through Azarad. Exploring more of the campus helped to take her mind off of recent unpleasantries, and Valerie had to make a concerted effort not to wave towards any of the people she caught glancing in her direction, rolling her eyes and turning away from them at every opportunity. She did feel a little bad as she did it though. If she did in the distant future plan to come here at some point, these were potential classmates of hers.

When the group reached a strange looking garden and appeared to be splitting off, Valerie glanced around for any observers before offering the others a quick warm smile and a “Good luck!” before she followed after Niradnam once more, calling coldly over her shoulder. “Come Lestone, no dawdling. Else you will be sleeping with the hounds again.” It was difficult to restrain a giggle after that.

Entering the building after Niradnam, Valerie channeled her inner snob as best as she could as she looked disdainfully around the room, her gaze then settling on the woman behind the desk. Hearing about the wait, she resisted her initial instinct to courtesy and introduce herself and spoke up haughtily. “So first the University loses my money for my admission, and now it demands that I wait for their explanation of their mistake? Utterly preposterous. And how long is it that I must wait to resolve this foolishness?” She folded her arms, tapping her foot impatiently.
 

Wookie Nookie

New Year's, Baby!
**sorry hun, can't tell sausage from pancakes when it comes to some of this magic stuff. I could try and zap him with the old zone of truth but he could just dance around the subject.** She wispered back in her friends mind. It sure was nice to have someone else to talk to besides just herself in her brain she thought.
The problem she always found with the cat folk, was never their business acumen or their morally ambiguous nature. It was always how hard to was to get a read on them, probably something to do with their eyes. Never the less he seemed pretty on the level to her.
 

Tai2k7

Party Dad
Ander isn't paying any attention to the transaction his friends are taking part in. He looks around at the malnourished people and frowns deeply. He is so concerned with trying to come up with a way to help these poor people that he bumps into Virra's back as she is talking with the tabaxi. He stops himself from doing any damage to his friend as he quickly regains his bearing, but he clearly appears upset. He scratches the back of his head as he continues to look around. These poor people, needin' ta rip each other off just ta get by..., he thought. He finally noticed what his friends were looking at and he cleared his throat. "Oh, those are... pretty, er something..." he mumbled, trying to focus back on what was going on. He held his hand up to his forehead in a focused on Virra, <I can be good at negotiatin' sometimes. If ya need my help, just let me know.>
 

NotHaruka

Member
Virra blinked. "Hey, wait, no. Hey, I wasn't finished!" Gods, what was that look supposed to mean? What had she touched on that was getting him so jumpy? Briefly at a loss for words, she held up her hand for the tabaxi to pause while she opened up her coin purse. "Hold off for just a second, Mags," she told the cleric mentally. "Lemme try just one thing first before we get magical with this guy."

Clearing her throat all businesslike, she lowered the purse down to eye level and showed the salesman a flash -- more than a flash -- of the nearly two hundred platinum pieces that filled it. "Look, you're a smart fella," Virra said. "You know what we're talking about, and I don't wanna waste your time... but I could make this thing profitable for all of us." She was speaking much more quietly than before, hoping not to advertise her intentions to all of the other item pedlars in the alley. "How about it? We ask a few questions, you answer 'em confidentially, and you get a month's rent out of it. Sound good?" she asked with a genial smile, looking over her shoulder and nodding to her companions in the hope that they'd play along. Catching sight of Ander's finger at his temple, she turned on the psychic link just in time to catch the gist of what he was saying. "If this doesn't work, a little help would be great," she told him, doing her best to sound optimistic.
 

Carwyn - Alexey

Junior Member
Rin looks up at Niradnam and gives him a slightly sad if understanding smile, different to the disappointed look from before. "In Shoria, my lad, you shorten someone's name as a sign of affection and respect. You only using my full name when I've told you otherwise is a show of disrespect to me." The elderly gnomes sighs a little and gives him a warm smile instead. "It seems we have been caught in the middle of each other's culture. Fine, Niradnam. Lead on."

As the group walk through to the gardens she waves happily to anyone that comes to talk, promising a few words with a student over a crop of mint leaves in the next few days and smiling at others. When they get to the garden and she hears Eliza's admission, she turns and gives the half-orc a sympathetic smile. "Dealing with insects is by far the most bothersome of tasks my dear. Thankless because if you do a good job, no-one ever notices. I understand wanting to only look from afar." Taking in the garden, the old botanist runs her hands over some of the leaves. "In fact plenty of gardens are only meant to look at from afar. In Shoria, where we have split level townships, often people design their gardens by how they look from high up above." Stopping by one of the trees she leans down and runs her fingers through the dirt near the roots, tutting to herself and her tone turns wistful. "For me sweetie, I like getting down in among everything and having that connection to everything growing. When you know plants leaves can be like books, this garden like a library. I am just a librarian of the earth, studying away. Just like you and your tomes my dear Elly."

The old druid directs Tyrius to water a few plants and root areas, congratulating him every time he did something well. In answer to his question she shakes her head a little sadly. "Unfortunately not lad. I will be speaking in Druidic, the language of the earth. Not common or Sylvan or Gnomish. It helps get a better connection." With that the elderly gnome runs a finger through the dirt and draws a shape, a circle with the Druidic sign for 'Speech' inside it. She pressed her hand down against it, mutters a few words and the tip of her staff glows. A slight gust of wind blows from the top of the staff in a circle, rustling all the leaves around her. The gnome speaks in Druidic, addressing the trees in a brusque but not unfriendly tone. "<Hello there, I'm needing a bit of information from you all. I hope that is okay?>"
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad | Office:

The woman behind the desk flinched slightly at Valerie's tone, fidgeting with her papers, glancing at Niradnam as she leaned towards him, "Uhm, did you ... did you say her last name was Rhitegast?" He nodded, she muttered, "Oh dear ..." under her breath.

Setting the pages aside, she pushed her seat back and approached the doorway near her desk. Knocking on it timidly there was no response, but as she went to do it again, the door was pushed open and an exotic looking woman stepped out with a huff. Long black hair trailed down her back, tied into a thick braid, her skin was a dark tan, and her eyes had a strange shimmer to them. Her face gave a strange sense of being off, but difficult to tell what really caused it. Her clothes were made of multicolor silks that wrapped around her figure, and a small harp hung from a sash on her hip. Giving the clerk barely a glance, the woman walked towards Niradnam who dipped his head, "Hello Maestro Zorei-Hanari. I take it talks have still not gone well?"

Zorei placed her hands on her hips, looking back into the office, "Of courze not." Her manner of speech was unusual compared to the others, a strange emphasis on certain sounds. "You zhould knowa by nowa, it'z impozzible to get anything done with theze people." Drawing her fingers across the harp on her hip she shook her head then caught sight of Valerie and Lestone, "Oh? What'z thiz? Zurely you didn't come with young Niradnam, ah? Too upper clazz for him, I think, there'z an energy to you he zimply lackz."

Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad | Balcony:

As Rinmerrion casts her spell, the garden becomes more lively, roots and vines shifting, reaching for new holds and expanding out of the designated garden as if seeking new dirt -- that is until Rin speaks in druidic, feeling a sense of attention suddenly focused on her as the semi-Awoken plants all realize her presence.

The trees shudder as they turn their trunks, branches shifting to reply, only for the littlest flowers to almost writhe in agitation, <"Ignored! Rude!">

A rustle of branches seems to reply, <"Too. Restless. Patient. What. Ask.">

Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad | Slums Area:

Seeing the flash of coin, Three Stripe slowed in his packing, but still continued. His ear flicked and he ran his tongue over his furred lips as he eyed the small gnome once again. "Your offer interests Three Stripe, but business is best handled in the comforts of home, yes? Let Three Stripe pack his cart for safety, then we shall continue. Does this work for the little Gnome?"
 

NotHaruka

Member
"I'm quite a big gnome, actually," Virra muttered, but gave the tabaxi a nod all the same. Internally, she was less restrained. "It worked! It worked!" she cheered to Mags and Ander in turn. She felt a little bad not including Terminus in the celebrations, but she had to be careful of revealing her psionics to everyone she travelled with. Odds were that she would be forced to show a little power in front of him at some point regardless, of course. She would just have to deal with the circumstances as they came.
 

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