The start of a new school year. It was always inspiring to see all the new faces, bright and shining, as the Academy dorms began to fill again. Those who had left for the summer returning, lugging huge bags. Some were flying in, struggling under the weight of supplies or the tearful goodbyes of parents and loved ones. Others arrived in various vehicles, some as simple as a chariot, others in sleek cars, still others on beast of burden. Gray took a deep breath, the shape of choice being a man at the moment, in a frumpy sweater vest and leaning heavily on an old black cane. As it stood at the entrance, greeting the returning students, it's eyes wandered to the commons. Huge gazebos, set up by the teams and clubs for the first day. He saw harpies and wyverns pulling stunts and acrobatics, some with streamers and ribbons trailing behind them in an explosion of color, a loud griffon shouting into a megaphone to try and bring all the fliers into the Aerial clubs. Minotaurs were showing off wrestling moves in a makeshift ring, a golem waving a huge banner with the words "Join The Wrestling Team!" written in bright red letters. Gray smiled at their antics, black eyes roving to the swim teams. Mermaids in swimsuits passed out little fliers as Kappa waved the aquatic oriented species over. Not to be outdone, the centaurs were out in force for the Jousting team, full gear on, attracting the quadrupeds as they held small sparring matches, the sounds of the javelins and shields echoing through the commons. The Art Club had set up their own booth, a sort of mini-gallery it would seem, displaying works and drawing quite a large crowd. They always were a popular bunch. A warm wind blew the trees, and Gray took a deep relaxing breath, hearing the melodies of sirens and nymphs singing from the music club's stage.
There was quite simply nothing like it. All these species, all these creatures and beings, side by side, loving, laughing, hating, contesting. Each here for their own reasons. Each pursuing their own goals. The expansive gardens, home to dryads and mandrakes; the vaulting buildings, made to accommodate even the tallest of Jotuns and the smallest of spirits. A returning student gave a shout and wave to Grey, who smiled and waved back at the golem. Classes wouldn't start for another week, but the first week was far from quiet and relaxed. The clubs and sports teams jockeying for new members, the new students inevitably getting lost in the huge grounds, trying to find specific rooms as they clump together with old friends. Gray checked the small bronze watch on it's wrist. The assembly for the students wouldn't start till a few hours. There was still time to meet new faces. The headmaster looked up, smiling broadly as more students flooded through the gates.
"I wonder what this year will hold for us..."
Simon lifted the heavy visor on his helmet, breathing out slowly as he felt the cool wind hit his face. He had been sparring with Lexin for the past ten minutes, small jousts to show off techniques and speed. Several centaurs, and even a scorpion-man gave applause as the pair saluted each other with their lances, Simon laughing as Lexin's shoulders slumped from exhaustion.
"You could at least go a LITTLE easier on me for these matches man!"
"Sorry Lex. It's hard for me to hold back!"
The two centaur chuckled, Simon laying his lance in the rack as Dina trotted over.
"Oi, you two. You did good. Go ahead and take off, I'm having the heavies show off now."
Simon looked up at the Jousting Captain. She was tall, even by centaur standards, and heavily muscled. She flicked her short black hair back over her shoulder, adjusting the heavy chest-pad as she whistled to a Drider and a half-tiger as they took positions in the small ring. Simon nodded as the javelins rang out. The suits the Jousting team wore were like a hybrid of medieval armor and football padding. Made out of a thick plastic weave, they were designed to absorb impacts and distribute the force equally, to help prevent injuries. The helmets were stifling, looking something akin to a bulging toad throat to help deflect a mis-aimed lance. They were far from flattering, but they got the job done. The lances were blunted, but that didn't change the fact that at full speed, Simon could slam into his target with the force of a truck. And he was still considered a lightweight.
"Trying to get more attention?"
"Between the popularity of the Art Club and the damn bimbo mermaids for the swim team, we're not doing as well as we could."
Simon looked around. It was true, the Jousting Team had one of the worst spots to be in. Sandwiched between the Art booth, which was always intensely popular, and the Swim Team, which was using it's mermaids to attract many boys of a lot of species, very few were actually paying attention to the Jousting Team, short of those who were physically restricted from swimming. Simon chuckled.
"Well, maybe you could put some of the centaurs in swimsuits? I'm sure that'd get some attention."
Dina rapped Simon on the head roughly, smirking.
"You volunteering Cloudbrain?"
A common nickname for those who knew Simon. His complete air-headed nature was practically a legend in the school, not so much because he himself was popular, but because he had run into almost every student that walked through the halls at least once. He grinned, trotting away to wander the grounds and check the other booths with a chuckle.
"No, but I bet you and Lex would look pretty good in bikinis! OHBALLS!"*WHAM*
Simon slowly untangled himself from on top of the Kappa.
"Sorry! Uh...sorry, you alright?"
Simon helped the water demon up before trotting away, apologizing and still ignoring where he went, almost running into a minotaur carrying a huge stack of sandbags before finally paying attention to his movements.
((Welcome to the IC folks. Classes will not start the first week, consider this the very first day of the school year. New students would be moving into the dorms, and browsing the grounds and booths for potential clubs and sports teams they want to join. Those of you who are returning students will either be helping your own club or team with attracting new members in the booths, or wandering on your own, enjoying the fact that classes have yet to start. There will be assembly soon welcoming everyone, and from there, we'll see where things take us. So have at, have fun, interact, make some friends, make some rivals, and let's get Myth Academy rolling in full force!))