Planeswalker Academy IC
One way or another, you have all made it to the appointed meeting spot: a remote forest clearing in Wales. The location is off the beaten path, and chosen more for the convenience of the non-human students, for whom the trip meant more than several hours on a plane and a bus. It's very early in the morning, and on a boulder in the center of the clearing sits a in a long brown coat. His face doesn't look more than thirty, with shoulder length blonde hair and a neatly trimmed mustache, but the piercing green eyes surveying the little party from under a broad-brimmed hat belong to a much older man.
“Very well. I'm glad you could make it in time. We have one or two that are expected to arrive later, but you should be all for now. Look around you. The seven of you are going to be working and learning together for at least the next six months. Longer if you don't get into trouble. It may not seem like many, but it's actually a fairly large class size as far as the Academy is concerned. Planeswalkers aren't exactly a dime a dozen.” He paused to extract a short pipe from a coat pocket, tamping the contents down with a thumb before a flicker came out of nowhere and started it smoking.
“We've got a few more minutes before the transfer is ready, so I might as well begin your orientation now. There are very few rules, and you'll find that we operate more firmly on their spirit than the letter, that's for any wannabe lawyers in the group. Rule one: Don't assault or kill another student. Fights happen, but don't cross the line. Rule two: Disrespect a teacher at your own peril. All of us are much older than you, with notable exceptions, and any one of us could tie you in a knot by thinking too hard.” He paused for a few puffs.
“Rule three: don't tip off the mundanes. You may think that you're some badass Planeswalker now, and you can do whatever you want, but more talented mages have been killed by angry peasants than have ever died of old age. Plus is won't be them you have to worry about.” He stood up and grabbed a long oak staff that had been lying against the rock.
“My name is Ian Lan-Athrawes. To any of you, I'm master Ian, your evocation instructor. You'll be seeing quite a lot of me. I won't say that I don't want you to be intimidated by me. That would be counter-productive and a little foolish, you should be intimidated, at least a little. But, I'm also going to be your very favorite instructor, at least once the mind control kicks in. Now, since the minutes are passing by a lot slower than anticipated, I'm going to call roll now instead of later. When each of you hears your name, stand up and give us a brief rundown on who you are. It'll make it easier to remember later.”
“Nic Smith... do you prefer Nic or Nicholas?”
“Max... oh, right, the dragon. Got a last name, Max?”
(Sound off in the order given. Just a brief introduction to set the tone for your character.)
I honestly have to spend the next six months of my company with... these...?
There was no getting around the disdain in her voice for the company she was being forced to keep, even in her own head. Aloiene was anticipating a class with high elves such as herself. After all, why would He separate the races if He wanted them to... mingle. The mere thought made her skin crawl, her nose wrinkled, and she swore she had to swallow back bile.
It would be... acceptable, in the lowest sense of the word, if there just humans. By her count, there were four, as far as she could tell. If the someone hadn't said something about a dragon being amongst the group, she would have assumed five. None of them looked like the dragons she had read about in her stories, at least. If she had to pick one of them out to be the dragon, it would be the white haired one with the incredibly drab clothes.
Regardless of the amount of humans, there was one thing about her classmates she found inexcusable: a drow. Of all manner of trash you could have picked to attend such an academy, an academy certainly not as prestigious as she had been informed, you allow a drow in here? Disgusting.
Out of all of the group that were here, only one stood out to her. A delicate looking human in the flashiest, yet most eye-catchingly visionary outfit she had seen in a while. If there was any sort of consolation in the pile of refuse that were her classmates, it was certainly the fact that one of them had excellent fashion sense.
The headmaster went on about the academy and its rules, eventually proceeding into a roll call.
"I am here," Aloiene responded, her feminine voice in stark contrast to the man who had been speaking these past few minutes yet no less firm.
Ciro's eyes drifted over each of his companions. 'Is this all the world has to offer for magic? So depressing.' One person in particular caught his attention. At first he thought it was another vampire, but he didn't sense the taint of vampirism, and they weren't hiding their aura as he was. Ciro's hand covered his face for a moment, and he cast a simple observation magic over his target. 'My my, now that is interesting. One to watch for sure.' Ciro's laugh would have chilled the spines of those around him had it not been kept safely locked in his mind. A half vampire would be interesting, but would also cut down his pool of possible blood donors by one.
Ciro jumped up the second he heard his name. "Hey-lo! My name is Ciro. See-row. I'm eleven years old. Did I forget anything? Hmm..." He hit himself in the face with his hand. "Oh yeah, human! Usually goes without saying, but seeing all of you I guess not." Ciro grinned wide. "I hope to make lots and lots of friends! Oh wait, there's only six people, so I guess not lots and lots. I hope to make just one lot of friends!"
Inside, the ancient vampire was smiling like a snake. 'This is going to be entertaining.' He so wanted to just bite into one of his classmates, but he held himself back. It had been hundreds of years since he'd tasted magic blood. He could wait. Yes, if anything, he had learned patience over his many years. The one thing he would always have too much of was time. If he played his cards right he might even get to taste dragon's blood. Now that would be a real treat. In his thousands of years, he'd never once gotten such a tempting opportunity.
As much as Max would have loved to just pass himself off as a human, that would have caused far too many problem. Even in human form, there are still notable difference between humans and Draconians. First off; his hear and eyes. No human would ever be born with such odd colors, and he didn't have enough money on him to claim that he dyed his hair and wore colored contacts. So he had to say that he was a dragon instead. While he wasn't as physical strong as his dragon brethren, he could just claim he was born with a defect. While it was rare for A dragon to be born without his racial strength it wasn't unheard of. While it would still draw attention to himself, it was still better then just coming out and saying that he was a Ryu
Max snapped to attention when he heard his name "t-that's me sir, I'm Max. I'm 246 years old and I know healing magic. And no sir, I...I don't remember my last name" it wasn't a lie, he really didn't remember his last name. However the way that he said it implied that he had simply forgot it, not so. What he did remember about his last name was why he went out of his way to forget it; anyone in the know would recognize it as a symbol of Ryu heritage. And since he was taking such pains to hide that, his last name had to go. While he could have just never used it, he had an odd habit of using his full name when an authority figure demanded his name.
Looking around, he found his classmates to be a very odd mishmash of people. Hell, one of them even dressed like she was royalty or something. Max didn't feel too out of place here because it didn't seem like any kind of person would feel in place here
It was unreal, like something straight out of a novel. An elf, a drow, and apparently that guy was a dragon. Nic would have remained silent, staring at the group in amazement, had he not been addressed. Hearing his name for the roll call he pulled his jaw back up and started speaking, though somewhat hesitantly. How that tiny kid could be so happy and casual about this was a mystery to him.
"Uh, I'm Nic. Just Nic, not Nicholas. I'm from the U.S., Washington to be precise. I'm sixteen and, uh, a human. I like to read and play soccer, and my favorite class is--was physics," he corrected himself. Hoping that was enough, Nic fell silent yet again. It wasn't much for an introduction, but it was about as much as everyone else was saying. It wouldn't do to stand out this early on. Well, that was Nic's philosophy at least. The two girls seemed to believe exactly the opposite; their appearance was meant to draw attention, to make it impossible not to notice them. Nic couldn't stop looking at the elf, no matter how many times he looked away. Then again, he was looking at the drow just as often.
It was unreal, like something straight out of a novel. And Nic was standing in the middle of it.
Qualme scaned the his soon to be classmates, all them seeming to be dull humans. "...oh, right, the dragon..." this caught Qualme's intrest, he only ever read of dragons in the few books manage to get in the years he spent underground. When he continued to look over the small group his eyes froze when he say it, a High Elf, it took all his strength to keep himself from poncing and ripping her smug highborn bitch face off. His blood boiling under his skin he recalled all the suffering he went through in his life all because her kind were too damn weak to make room in their little pocket dimension. As he thought of the thousends of ways he would love to make the High Elf beg for death he heard his name called. He cleared his throat and raised his gloved hand before speaking in a rather raspy voice. "Here sir."
Elliot could barely contain himself as he looked around and half listened to the man sitting on the rock. It was just days after he had graduated high school and he was in freaking Wales for goodness sakes! The surrounding forest was beautiful to him. It was calling his name to just run, climb, smell, and be explored. There was a more important matter at hand though that was impeding this. The fact that there was Elves among them and possible other Werefolk like him in the group of young people. The two Elves seemed to hate each other already, but that wasn’t a surprise from the stories he heard from some of his family elders. As for the rest of them the only one that kind of stood out was a guy a few years younger than him that had stark white hair, but Elliot wasn’t one to judge fashion taste. A change in the man’s tone told Elliot that he should pay closer attention.
The man was mentioning the rules of the academy and then stood introducing himself as Ian Lan-Athrawes. He let them know he was the group’s evocation teacher and then made what Elliot hoped was a bad joke about mind control. His seriousness from the prior mentioning of the rules carrying over into the sentence made it seem like he was not kidding and it unsettled Elliot a bit. Master Ian as he wanted to be called then began to take roll call and noted he wanted each of them to tell something about themselves. First was the female elf whose name Elliot did not want to try and pronounce right. She didn’t say much except confirm she was present. Next was who seemed the youngest of the lot. He seemed to be the only one to be as much excited to be there as Elliot maybe even more. Elliot empathized with the kid. Being told that magic is real and you’re going to a school to learn it is life changing. It certainly was when Elliot had been told what he was.
Then Master Ian said Elliot’s name. So Elliot took a deep breath, stepped forward, and began to speak. “Yes, I’m Elliot Lindberg and I…am a Werecreature.” He said with a tone as if he was talking in front of an Alcohol Anonymous meeting. He held a serious face for a second, but couldn’t hold the joke any longer. He chuckled an apology and continued, “I am of the Bear aspect. My family moves a lot so I can’t say that I’m from anywhere particular, but I was born in Oregon in the U.S. I like to cook and my favorite class in high school was Botany so I guess you could say I have a green paw.” He chuckled another apology. His bad jokes got worse when he was nervous, and why would he not be? He was about to go off on the most awesome adventure in his life. Elliot stepped back as he finished talking, “Well I guess that’s it except to say nice meeting you.”
"Well then, it seems it has come to my turn!"
Ellie steps forward, so as to be fully in all of her classmates line of sight, closing her eyes briefly to prepare herself. She hadn't ignored their introductions, on the contrary, she had been raptly listening to each and every introduction, paying special attention to those of li'l eleven and the fancy-cutie elf. She got a wierd vibe from the kid called Ciro, but it didn't matter any more than Aloiene's fantastic outfit, it was time to put on a show. The entire time the others were introducing themselves, Ellie had been ever so slightly swaying back and forth, setting her tempo, preparing her voice for the coming event. The sounds of a great audience reach her ears, and she suddenly gets the familiar feeling of being on a wide stage in front of hundreds of excited theatregoers. The imaginary crowd pushes her forward, forcing her to open her eyes. Go on and impress them, they say. Let them hear your name!
"It truly is a pleasure to meet everybody here today! I am indeed called Ellie Orleans, but if you desire, you may call me Ellie~!" She throws her arms out wide, as if beholding some invisible audience, before going into an extremely exaggerated bow directed at nobody in particular.
"I sincerely hope to get along well with everybody, especially our fairest-" She gestures grandly towards Aloiene, who is standing almost opposite to her on the other end of the group, directing the invisible spotlight to her elven classmate. "Lady Aloiene!" The way she calls out her name, it sounds as if she were introducing somebody of great standing. However, she quickly redirects the attention back to herself, continuing her introduction seamlessly-
"But that's not who we're here for, is it! Well then, what to tell about myself! You've already heard my name, but what more is there to say? My hobbies are theatre and fashion, as you've probably already noticed, and I've spent much of my life schooling abroad. My home city is Orleans, but I haven't actually been there since I started school. I'm currently single, but looking for love!-" With this comment, she gives a playful wink in the direction of the crowd. Satisfied with her introduction for the time being, she steps back and gives another theatrical bow, hastily closing up her introduction-
"Oh, and I'm human! Probably! Who knows! That's all folks~!"
Ian waited patiently through the cycle, taking mental notes on his new students. He noted the exuberant extroverts, as well as the apparent tension between the light and dark elves. That was to be expected all things considered. The way the dragon had taken such a conciliatory tone had surprised him, most of the species he had dealt with tended to arrogance. However, he did note the boy's mention of “healing magic” with some wariness. Teaching someone who had preconceptions was always more difficult. Still, he hadn't been chosen as the instructor in the most fundamental discipline because he lacked ability.
“Very well, it's nice to meet all of you, but we're out of time on this side. Grab any luggage you may have and follow me in a single file line. Stay close together and mind the edges. If this is your first jump, try not to make a scene.”
He suited actions to words, raised his staff and opened the portal. A section of thin air silently ripped open, display a patch of bright blue sky incongruously against the morning gloom. Ian stepped through confidently and led his pupils out across a stone walkway that seemed to hang in the air. It was perfectly smooth, with no marks of tools or mortar, about six feet wide. Somewhat worryingly, it had no railing, and gave way to seemingly infinite sky on either side.
Behind the party, the portal was framed up against... well, nothing. Distinct from the blue sky all around them, a wall stretched into infinity. Not the sort of wall you could see, exactly, because the eye seemed to avoid looking directly at it. It was complete void, not blackness, because that would at least have been something. The easiest way for a mind to describe it was that it was clear, but with nothing on the other side to see through it.
Ian directed the classes attention back at it. “Get a good look in now. Maddening as it is, that's the edge of a universe. The bubble dimension that houses the academy stretches right up to that point and no further. Looking into that long enough is bound to send most people mad, but you're planeswalkers. The incomprehensible mechanisms that create and bind worlds are your bread and butter now, you'd better get used to the gnawing existential madness. Still” He relented somewhat and continued the walk, “Wouldn't due to drive you insane on the first day, and even I don't like to look at that for long. It'll disappear as we get further into the atmosphere, come on then!”
The pathway wound down through a cloud bank which deposited unpleasantly cold dew over the party, before the sky opened up to show a massive green island hovering alone in the sky. A full two thirds of the island seemed covered by woods, but the real piece de resistance was the castle. A massive three towered structure of cut granite snugged up against the sheer edge of the floating isle. It was easily five stories, and might have covered the better part of a square mile. The keep in the center was a good two stories taller than the rest of the structure, and the extra height was filled with balconies, roosts and what looked like landing pads arranged haphazardly around the central tower.
Ian led them onward as the causeway sloped gently down to kiss the parapet of the furthest tower, which, at closer inspection, actually hung over the edge of the island by several yards. “This is a very, very old castle, but as easy as it is to romanticize the notion of 'roughing it', I'm sure you'll find it has all the comforts of home. Running water, indoor plumbing, central he- well, the heat's a bit dodgy, but we do offer complementary slippers in the winter time. And yes, before you ask, we do have seasons in here. How? Because magic. That's how.”
After descending several flights of stairs, Ian stopped at one particular hallway, and indicated the doors lining its entire length. “Due to the fact that we have so few students this year, you each rate your own room. These have all been lived in before, and apprentice mages tend to experiment, so I'm sure no two of them are even remotely similar. Pick which rooms you want and get settled in. Feel free to take a minute to socialize, your time is officially your own for the next two hours. At that time, your presence will be required in the evocation classroom for your first class. I know it seems fast paced, but I honestly didn't feel like waiting an extra day for you all to settle down. Should you require directions to the classroom, then you may summon one of the castle wisps to guide you. Simply say, 'directions please.' then the name of where you want to go. Like so, directions please, headmasters office.”
A dot of light appeared in the air and headed mindlessly down the hall and out of sight. “I wouldn't recommend choosing that particular destination, however. The current headmistress is quite the talented necromancer, and is always on the lookout for unwary test subjects. I will be waiting for you in the class. Do not be late.”
Aloiene was one of the first to break off from the group to find a place to stay for the next half of the year. She went into the hallway, opening the first door to the left. The color, what there was of it anyway, drained from her face when she glimpsed at what was inside, immediately closing said door. She turned and hurriedly walked away from the room, her glass heels clicking loudly on the stone floor in an attempt to distance herself from the horror He said some of the mages that attended this school were odd, but to be that deranged? How horrible... Pairing plaids with stripes is the least of its problems. The pulsating flesh I could forgive, but... With that thought, she pushed the vision of the first room out of her mind and continued.
The next rooms she visited were... basic, to say the least in her opinion. To a human, the rooms may have appeared quite grand, but, again, to something like a human. Their taste was generally inhibited by their unfortunate genetic curse of not being a greater species such as Aloiene. One in particular reminded her of a cave (an obligatory comment about the drow was made as well). She continued down the hall, thoroughly unimpressed with the selection of rooms available. She made it to the room at the end of the hall. She opened the door and unlike the previous rooms she had viewed, this one had a view, or, at least, the semblance of one.
The room was filled with greenery and objects in the shapes of plants. No, when she touched them, she could feel that they actually were plants. The room was outfitted with the standard accoutrements: a closet, a bed, a night stand, and a bookshelf, lovingly crafted out of wood, elegant carvings adorning the dark surfaces. There was a light source in the room, though what it was she didn't know. She blamed it on magic, as it seemed there was a sun outside the window. Looking out she could see a beautiful garden, rows and rows of flowers, curled, winding paths, shrubbery, and lights throughout it that seemed to go on for miles. She gathered that this was all some sort of illusion, as the castle grounds were hardly large at all, no more than a mile, and certainly didn't have anything this ornate. Not to mention she wasn't entirely sure this was even an outside-facing wall. Regardless, it looked lovely and reminded her of her home, of Tuatha De Danaan, even if the scale of the garden was much more suited to one of the working class than an Elf of high standing such as herself.
She exited the room and was reminded once again of her company. The smile on her face was quickly replaced with an expression of unamused disdain, an expression, she noticed, had not left her face from the time she set out on her journey until she found her room.
"I have decided to claim this room as my own. I'm sorry for each of you creatures that has to deal with having another thing of inferior quality to mine, but I would suggest getting used to it." Aloiene paused for half a moment before continuing, nobility and condescension ringing clear through her words. "I'm going to explore the castle for the time we have remaining, which, by my count, is one hour and forty-five minutes. Do not be late for class. I'll not have my education spoiled due to one of you not treating this with the gravity it deserves." She concluded her short speech and walked down the hall, not concerned with whatever looks she may or may not have been receiving from the others.