Apologizing for missing yet another day seems insufficient, but I don't know what else to say, so sorry once again.Last thread had a tie between library and armoury, and not many votes at that (two to two, and infirmary had one and a maybe), so I'm reposting the choices and revoting from scratch. Once again, apologies for the inconvenience.> Previous thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/35603743/> suptg archive tag: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Lessons%20in%20Knighthood%20Quest> QM Twitter: https://twitter.com/QMdampYou are Nicole, a knight-apprentice of Alvar. Due to certain circumstances beyond your control and exacerbated by factors you would rather nobody else know about, you are now on what might be considered as a form of probation for your own safety. You will have to report your comings and goings to certain people in authority, which is a far looser leash than you had expected to be collared with.In addition, you may have discovered hostile magic being targeted at Knight Captain Clarissa, in the form of nightmares that rob her of sleep. You have been volunteered by the court wizard to watch over Clarissa at night.But that's still some time away. It's mid-morning right now, and Clarissa wants to know what you intend to do with your time. You are free to go anywhere you wish, as long as you tell her beforehand, and provided you are back at the palace by two in the afternoon.> Roderick the armourer wants to see you whenever convenient, for fitting your own set of armour> You had an appointment with Sister Simone in the infirmary about healing your arm> The library might be a good place to kill some time, and you can look up some stuff while you're there> Ask about your pay, since you do need to shop for essentials
>>35643439>> Roderick the armourer wants to see you whenever convenient, for fitting your own set of armour
>>35643439> Roderick the armourer wants to see you whenever convenient, for fitting your own set of armour
"I don't have any real plans, so I'll go see Roderick," you tell Clarissa.Clarissa nods. "I do not believe that will take too long, so you will have some more free time after that. Remember to inform someone of your whereabouts, if you should go elsewhere after you're done."Roderick is not on the list of people who are authorized to hold your leash. You'll have to seek someone else out later, if only just for the brief check-in.After Clarissa departs to her office to battle the dire forces of bureaucracy, you make your way back to the armoury, across the training courtyard. There are a few guards in the middle of training; they give you the usual mix of nods of greeting, hastily-averted stares at your exotic skin tone, and mutterings of gossip.You really need to do something to improve your reputation in the palace. Or, even better, not have a reputation at all.Roderick is relaxing inside the armoury, leaning on the windowsill, a weathered book in his hands. He glances up at you as you approach."Wise is the bird that sharpens its beak," he says cryptically.> "Even if the mountain is adamant and eternal."> "Good morning, Roderick."> "What?"
>>35643743> "Good morning, Roderick."
>>35643743>> "Even if the mountain is adamant and eternal."
>>35643743> "Even if the mountain is adamant and eternal."
>>35643743> "Good morning, Roderick."No reason to make him suspicious about our background
>>35643743> "Even if the mountain is adamant and eternal."I wanna see what happens if we play along. Curiosity killed the cat, but we're a perfectly normal human.
>>35643743 > "Even if the mountain is adamant and eternal."
You haven't heard that one in a while. The phrasing is a little off, but maybe it's a regional thing. "Even if the mountain is adamant and eternal," you complete the proverb.It's Roderick's turn to look blank, which is no simple feat on an orc's face."Wasn't it a proverb you were quoting?" you say, with the growing worry of someone who may have made a social error you're not sure you like the consequences of."Oh, yeah, kind of." He holds up the book he's reading, showing you the cover. "It's a collection of quotes through the ages. The old Duke, the one before the Pretender's Revolt, lent it to me. I think it's from his personal collection; the present Duke told me to keep it." He looks faintly abashed. "I've been trying to do a sort of, uh, what do the churches call it? A thought for the day. You're the first person who's responded, though.""I thought it was something from, uh, where I come from," you say. That should be safe enough."There's a hundred variations of every proverb," Roderick agrees. "Even us orcs have our own. Imagine my surprise when I read this book and found that a few of them originally came from the elves. There's citations and everything."Not surprising, since the elven nations have a strong tradition of keeping records on anything and everything, both oral and written. One reason elves often gravitate toward the occupations of administrators, clerks, scholars, and spies."Anyway," Roderick says, putting away the book, "what brings you here?""The Captain told me you wanted to see me?" you suggest. "About fitting me for my armour.">[1/?]
"Oh, right. Give me a moment." Roderick pulls a box of rattling items towards him, and roots around in it until he finds a rolled-up strip of measuring tape. "It's not that urgent, since you've got a ways to go before you're ready for actual duties. But no sense leaving until tomorrow what we can do today, eh? Like that proverb says.""The one about the wise bird?""That's right."The version you're familiar with spoke more about patience and perseverence. With any luck, Roderick would not be curious enough to find out exactly where that version came from.The measuring is quick and professional, with Roderick making copious notes in a notebook which seems comically small in his hands. "The armour will take a while," he says. "The ceremonial one even more so. But I'll be sending this to our tailor in the city for your uniforms."Clarissa did have a few sets of uniform-like outfits in her wardrobe that you remember seeing. You're not sure the tastefully subdued clothing she wears on an everyday basis is standard issue, however. "How many, out of interest?""Basic set of five; three working and two for ceremonies. Extra sets have to be requisitioned. The uniforms should be ready in a few days; they'll be sent to your room."Which should help ease your clothing situation, but you'd still really like to have some more options of your own."I'll call you down here again when the armour's done," Roderick says. "Anything else?"> "Could I get a replacement dagger? I kind of lost one."> "If you don't mind me saying, you're a little different to the orcs I hear about."> "Nothing else, thank you. I'll see you later, Roderick."
>>35644514>> "If you don't mind me saying, you're a little different to the orcs I hear about."
>>35644514>"If you don't mind me saying, you're a little different to the orcs I hear about."We still can't use the other arm anyway, right?
>>35644514> "Nothing else, thank you. I'll see you later, Roderick."The "you're different" seems mildly rude.
>>35644514>> "Could I get a replacement dagger? I kind of lost one.">> "If you don't mind me saying, you're a little different to the orcs I hear about."
>>35644514 > "Nothing else, thank you. I'll see you later, Roderick."
>>35644514> "Could I get a replacement dagger? I kind of lost one."> "If you don't mind me saying, you're a little different to the orcs I hear about."
>>35644514>"Could I get a replacement dagger? I kind of lost one."
"Could I get a replacement dagger?" you ask. "I kind of lost one of the ones I had.""Yes, I know," Roderick says. "I got the pieces. Sent them back to the scrap pile. Ah, don't look like that, it's fine. I've got plenty more." He eyes your cast. "Are you sure you need it now? It's not like you can use it, unless you hold it between your teeth or something."There's a fascinating mental image. "It's better to be prepared, I think."Roderick issues you a new dagger, functionally identical to the one you apparently shattered during your moment of strangeness within the wizard's tower. As you sign for it, you carefully consider your next question. You've been wondering about this for a while, but you have yet to figure out a tactful way to ask the question."If you don't mind me saying," you start diffidently, "and I mean no offense, but, er...""It's about being an orc, isn't it?" Roderick says with a sigh.You nod."You're not the first one to wonder, girl. Nor the last, I wager. I've learned to recognize that little hesitation everyone does when they want to ask me about it."Roderick walks back to his seat inside the armoury at the window. "It's a long story, though; too long even for me. I'll give you the short version, but it's not a full accounting, so there's always some details left out, yeah?""You don't have to tell me if you don't want to," you say hurriedly."It's fine; it'll just keep bothering you until you burst from not knowing. You're a curious sort, Nicole."You reflect that the last sentence could be taken in more than one way. You're also pretty sure Roderick did that on purpose.>[1/?]
"I don't remember much about life among fellow orcs," Roderick begins. "I was just a mere pup when our caravan was attacked. I never found out why; maybe they were mercenaries hired by scared townsfolk to keep the scary orcs away from their lands. Maybe they were freelancing bandits. Probably the latter, since they were routed when the Duke's knights turned up, the old Snake of Alvar himself at their head."Evidently Alvar had enough knights to be considered a credible force back in the old days, rather than the token handful of Clarissa, the mysterious William and Donovan, and your apprentice self."The old Duke found me in the wreckage. I wasn't the only survivor, of course; there were a few others. Most went back to the other Hroztaka clan caravans. A few settled down, in Alvar and elsewhere. But none of them were willing to claim me. So the Duke brought me back to Alvar until they could figure out what to do with me, maybe contact another orc caravan and convince them to take me in."Roderick's eyes were focused on the past now. You can't really tell an orc's age, but you can guess that it's been at least fifty years since the day he was found in the remains of what had been his home."Days turned into months, and then years. The Duke gave me my name, and taught me my letters. I learned my trade as a blacksmith and armourer. I remember when the old Duke, the legendary Snake of Alvar, died peacefully in his sleep; I really thought he'd be around forever. I saw his son grow up to be a fine young man, and then a fine Duke. I was there during the Pretender's Revolt. I helped hide Pierre's boy Victor from the soldiers looking for him. He was just a baby then, so I couldn't tell him what happened to his mother; he found out later anyway. I remember Clarissa being confirmed as Knight Captain, and the chat we had that night, after the ceremony. Damn good wine, but that girl cannot hold her drink.">[2/?]
He finally shakes himself out of his reverie. "Anyway. Before I knew it, I'm part of the Duke's palace. I don't know how much of an orc I am now, but I've had a long time to think about it, and I don't think it matters anymore. People change, Nicole. More importantly, people can change from who they are, who they used to be, and who others think they should be."That was definitely directed at you. Roderick's long years of experience give his advice substantial weight. You're just not sure whether it will be enough."Thank you for your time," you say. "And for your advice. I'll see you later, Roderick.""Likewise." Roderick waves you farewell, as he picks up his book again.Judging from the position of the sun in the sky, you still have a bit of time. Your appointment with Sister Simone is at lunchtime, but you could always turn up earlier. That would neatly solve the issue of finding someone to tell your whereabouts.Or you could spend the rest of the time in the library. Maybe Katherine will point you towards a good book for tonight, when you have your vigil over Clarissa's dreams.Also, you should probably get a good watch one of these days.> Better early than late for our appointment with Simone> Books are good, let's visit the library> Go look for Anders and see what he's doing> Go to Clarissa's office and try to be of assistance
>>35645135>> Books are good, let's visit the libraryI don't think we're going to get much sleep for the next few days.
>>35645135> Better early than late for our appointment with SimoneWe need our arm back in tip top shape ASAP.Mental note that Clarissa can not hold her drink.
>>35645135>Better early than late for our appointment with Simone
>>35644468>One reason elves often gravitate toward the occupations of administrators, clerks, scholars, and spies>and spies
>>35645135> Books are good, let's visit the library
>>35645412It's a good thing we're a human, if we weren't we may have just been a really bad spy.
Sorry, was already writing before I saw the tie-vote for the library. I'll handle it later.Not having a proper watch, you are very conscious of the risk of losing track of time. Should something unexpected delay you, you might not make it in time for the appointment with Sister Simone, which would be rather impolite for someone receiving free medical care.The palace chapel is not actually located within the palace itself, a feature shared by the library, wizard's tower, and the palace guard barracks. In the interests of convenience and keeping out inclement weather, a wide covered pathway has been constructed, with soothing greenery tastefully grown alongside, for the healing of the souls of the infirm and sinners alike. You catch a glimpse of a lone gardener engrossed in his work as you pass.The chapel is non-denominational, and currently not as much the primary purpose of the relatively small building as a mere appendix. The hospital and infirmary had taken over much of the building's available space, which is not a burden to the staff, all four of whom are primarily trained as medical professionals before religious concerns.You wonder what would happen if a serious incident occured, and casualties began accumulating. Maybe they'd be sent to one of the other hospitals in the city.You take a seat in the softly-lit waiting room, after registering your early arrival with one of the acolytes on duty. He leaves to inform Simone, and you settle in for a long wait.Which turns out to be unnecessary, because the previous patient soon stumbles out of the consultation room mumbling thanks over his shoulder, clutching a small bag of herbs. Simone pokes her head out and greets you with a sunny smile."Allergies," she says by way of explanation, beckoning you to the narrow bed in the corner. "Unusual at this time of year, but not unheard of. Not a problem for you, I trust?"If it is, you've never encountered them. "I don't think so.">[1/?]
>>35645612>You wonder what would happen if a serious incident occured, and casualties began accumulating. Maybe they'd be sent to one of the other hospitals in the city.worry
You gingerly lie down, and Simone places her hands on your cast. You feel a warm sensation along your right arm, which replaces the general dull ache and distracting itching that had been bothering you all day."Looks like it's healing well," Simone says. "A little slow, though. How's your head?"You don't feel concussed today, which is a good sign. "It feels fine. I haven't had any problems with dizziness or pain.""Excellent. I was a little worried, since I hear those wards which malfunctioned were supposed to mess with your head. But it seems like there are no lingering after-effects." Her smile falters. "I'm more worried about the progress on your arm, though. It's a clean break, so it shouldn't take too long, but it does seem a bit more resistant to magic than I expected. Maybe that's due to the messed-up wards.""Maybe," you agree. Any excuse will do for now; you'll concoct more elaborate ones when you have the time."Did you have a good night's sleep?" Simone continues. "No headaches or sharp pains or anything?"> "Nothing like that, but there was a small problem involving the Knight Captain."> "I slept very well, thank you."
>>35645690>> "I slept very well, thank you.">"Does the Knight Captain get regular checkups? She was a tad...restless last night."
>>35645690> "I slept very well, thank you."Don't know if the Capitan would appreciate us throwing that stuff around.
>>35645690>"I slept very well, thank you."Absolutely do not mention the Captain. That's a bad idea.
Simone is the palace's resident medical cleric, but it might not be a good idea to tell her about Clarissa's problems with nightmares, at least until you get Clarissa's permission."I slept very well, thank you," you say. "No problems whatsoever.""Good to hear." Barely a few seconds pass before Simone speaks up again. "Have you given any thought about the Divine?"Either Simone is the sort of doctor who believes in the healing power of small talk, or she is just that chatty."I'm not trying to push you into converting, of course," Simone adds hastily. "I'm just curious about our newest knight-apprentice. Do you have any gods you believe in?"> Pick a deity at random> "Only the Brothers."> "I'm not very religious, sorry."> "I've never really thought about it."
>>35646126> "I'm not very religious, sorry."
>>35646126As the one who voted to mention the whispering, I WAS going to tell you to just have Simone nag Clarissa about regular check-ups.> "I've never really thought about it."
>>35646126> "I've never really thought about it."Seems to fit well with us being a bit of an idiot.
>>35646126>> "I'm not very religious, sorry."
>>35646126Either of the latter two is fine, they don't set us up for another self-contradiction.
>>35646179A fair point, could just say both.
>>35646230Well I take it the former option means that Nicole have thought about religion and came up with "no I'm not religious" whereas the latter implies it just never came up. In that case it can't be both, I'm just saying that either is fine.If we say we're not religious at all that could prompt her to stop pressing the issue, or it could prompt her to try even harder. It might also be unusual to not be religious which might attract even more attention. Win or lose, hard to tell.On the other hand, "I don't know" is a clear signal to her that you're open to being preached to so she'll probably do just that. But if Nicole plays along with that without going super religious, well, that'd look pretty damn unremarkable. We'd still have Simone paying more attention though. Win and lose.So yeah, either works.
About the closest thing to a religious belief you have is that none of them apply to you.You're not even sure what gods are worshipped in this area anyway. During your brief tour of the city when you first arrived, you saw a few churches and temples, but did not venture in for more detail. Most of those were churches of the Divine Aspect, but you spotted a dour clutch of acolytes of the Pale God, a squad of Hammerite paladins which you quickly avoided, and even a shrine to the Mother Maker of the elves.Unfortunately, the only faith you know anything about are the legends of the Brothers, the twin moons in the night skies. And you've never taken them for anything more than stories, anyway.Besides, it doesn't look like the Brothers are worshipped in Wellsbet. You're too far from home."I'm not very religious, sorry," you say. "But then I've never really thought about it. It's not a question that's come up very often in my life.""Oh." Simone seems torn between her sudden sympathy for the poor ignorant soul who has never known the blessings of the Divine, and the social expectation to keep the conversation light and non-evangelical. "You do remember what I told you yesterday, right? About the grace of the Divine Aspect?""Yes," you say quickly. "I appreciate your taking the time to share that with me.""Well, keep it in mind, won't you? I'll always be here if you need any more guidance." Simone pats your cast lightly. "Assuming all goes well, I'll take this off tomorrow, and you'll be good as new. Same time?""Yes, thank you." You get up off the bed.>[1/?]
"I'd recommend a regular checkup afterwards, though. And maybe you can check with Elise, to see if the magical discharge from the accident at the tower is interfering with the flow of healing.""I'll think about it," you say, desperate to make your escape. You give Simone a distracted wave with your good hand, and make it out of there before any more inconvenient questions can be posed.It's just about lunchtime, as best as you can tell. You're not really that hungry, but it's still not a good idea to skip meals.> Drop by the library quickly to pick up a book> Go for lunch, then wait at Clarissa's office
>>35646443>> Drop by the library quickly to pick up a bookBook time.
>>35646443> Drop by the library quickly to pick up a book
>>35646443>> Drop by the library quickly to pick up a bookWas there a particular book we wanted?
>>35646443>> Go for lunch, then wait at Clarissa's officeShouldn't we take more time to pick out a book?
>>35646443> Drop by the library quickly to pick up a book>>35646467"Castle infiltration for dummies" perhaps?
>>35646443>Go for lunch, then wait at Clarissa's officeWho are the people authorized to babysit us, again? I forgot.
>>35646492Knight Captain Clarissa, Anders the seneschal, Sister Simone the cleric, Elise the court wizard.Knights William and Donovan are also authorized, but not present or introduced.
>>35646467an elementary book of magic for the princePossibly some history on the palace(for researching secret passages and making new ones)Whatever's bothering ClarissaHow to be a Perfectly Normal Human Being
>>35646572Humanity for dummies.
>>35646467Something to read in the evenings/nights. We missed having one before.>>35646572Unless their is a book with a really good lesson about not dabbling in terrible magics, I'd avoid encouraging the lad too much.
>>35646467Studies in "Human Anatomy"
>>35646642They probably do have cautionary tales like that. They also double as horror stories.
>>35646642>>35646712At least we're more likely to find those in the library than the Wizard's Tower.>>35646467what about Law? Looking up the laws for this place should be important for patrolling.
You're not sure what Clarissa has planned for you this afternoon, but it may not leave enough time for a visit to the library, especially with how early the library closes. You'd rather not stay up the entire night doing nothing but stare at Clarissa's sleeping face, so some reading material would be a good idea.But the junior acolyte is already escorting in the next patient, a blushing young woman you think may be a maid, accompanied by a flustered young man you've definitely seen before as a guard. You should probably take your leave and give them their privacy.You quickly poke your head back into the consultation room. "By the way, Sister Simone? I'll be going to the library, then to lunch.""All right," Simone says, without looking up at you. She's scrabbling with some agitation through her patient files, probably for the patient just arriving."Just, er, checking in.""Thank you, Nicole." Simone begins rattling open desk drawers. "I could have sworn it's in here somewhere..."You're not sure if Simone paid any real attention to you, but you fulfilled the terms of your probation for now.>[1/2]
You consider cutting across the well-trimmed gardens towards the library building, but change your mind when you realize that you'd have to vault over at least two fences. Physically trivial, socially unacceptable.Meek is good, and you follow the approved route to the library from the palace. The guards let you through without more than a sympathetic look, which makes you feel slightly irritated for some reason.Katherine is on librarian duty again as usual. She looks up as you approach the counter, and sets aside her sewing with a long-suffering sigh."What is it this time?" she snaps, albeit quietly. This is a library, after all.You are about to say that you are looking for something to read, but manage to stop yourself in time. You should probably start with a more specific query. One book at a time should be enough for now.> "Do you have books on elementary magical theory?"> "I'd like to learn more about the history of Alvar palace."> "Are there any reports about historical and recent uses of mind-affecting magic?"> "I'm interested in a primer about the laws of Alvar."> "Is there anything that could help me with... you know. Talking to people."> Other (specify)
>>35646784> "I'm interested in a primer about the laws of Alvar.">Books on, tales, legends, etc. Some actually entertaining reading material.
>>35646784> "Is there anything that could help me with... you know. Talking to people."This could do more harm than good. Amusing.
>>35646784> "Is there anything that could help me with... you know. Talking to people."Up late at night practicing, "How do you DOO... how do you do?"
>>35646784>> "I'm interested in a primer about the laws of Alvar.">> "Is there anything that could help me with... you know. Talking to people."
>>35646784>"I'm interested in a primer about the laws of Alvar."Makes sense for a foreigner, right?
>>35646784>> "Is there anything that could help me with... you know. Talking to people."
>>35646893But not too foreign. Only slightly.
Does Nicole have an accent?
>>35646784Pop fictionOther options are too tryhard
>>35646975I'm guessing yes, but either modified or toned down so we don't give away that we're a ********Speaking of which, I know the consensus is that we're an elf, but I've personally been feeling that we might be some kind of demon/spirit/fae entity since we keep talking about "last time" and such.
>>35646784Would you suggest any good novels set in this area? Need a good read and might as well familiarize myself with the region more.
>>35646784>> "I'm interested in a primer about the laws of Alvar."I don't know why but knowing what is legal and what isn't tickles my fancy. Also we get to know more about the place we are currently in. You can tell a lot about a place by the way they govern themselves. Plus it is kinda parallel in our studies of becoming a future knight, knowing laws and customs and stuff.
>>35647003I've been thinking something other than elf for awhile, or at worst an elf with a far different origin than most.The ward response kinda confirms it for me, but the concern that religion may not apply seems to imply even stranger origins to me. Created being, golem, magical construct, frankenstien-style resurrected body, etc. At least she seems to have a living body the needs to eat, sweats, and heals. Even it healing magic has some trouble.Still leaning toward those options that would imply a previous life or existence in the fairly distant past.Also her continuing surprise at the availability of 'modern' luxuries.
I say the book of law. It won't do us any good to unknowingly break some law and get found out before our allies get here.
Was writing, but:>>35647494Tie-breaker, so rewriting. Sorry for the delay.
>>35647494I feel ya' bro. Also I wanna be able to drop the whole "criminal scum" line.
>>35647543Just do both.
The best part of this quest is trying to figure out what the MC is doing here and why.
>>35647590Didn't I explain this already?We're the heir to the Rosentia royal family, and a trap. We were cast out and disowned because of trap status, and have spent X years living on the streets.
>>35647614You'd think that the trap part would have been discovered both in the baths and when they were treating her after the hallway.
>>35647643Kinda does put a whole in the whole trap theory. Also there is no real reason why to "fake" our gender. If is to hide our identity and not bring attention to ourselves, then the whole "female knight-apprentice" raises more flags than just staying as a boy and changing our hair color or something. Why is it always a trap?
>>35647685It's mainly because A) it makes things interesting, B) I like to laugh at /tg/'s kneejerk reaction to everything trap, and C) I have a thing for traps and that OP looks like delicious caramel trap elf
You're only here to get something to read at night. It doesn't have to be excellent study material, although in the spirit of self-improvement, something along those lines might help."I'm interested in a primer about the laws of Alvar," you say. "A broad general overview would be preferable."Katherine grumbles under her breath, but stands. "This way," she says, leading you through the maze of shelves.The library is surprisingly crowded today, with a sizeable crowd among the tables and bookshelves. You mention as much to Katherine."It gets like this around this time of day," Katherine says. "Even worse during the weekends, with all the families. Part of the Duke's efforts to raise the literacy level. If he's going to do that, I wish he wouldn't put me in charge of handling the children."Despite her words, she doesn't actually sound annoyed about dealing with kids, in stark contrast to her visible irritation with adults.Katherine stops at a bookshelf of dauntingly weighty volumes. Checking the shelf, you see that you are in the section for textbooks of a non-arcane nature, even if the subject matter can get rather esoteric. A thick, colourful tome about the myths and legends of the Old Empire catches your attention for a moment, more for the garish artwork on the cover than any expectation of accurate scholarship.Katherine hands you a book of middling thickness proclaiming itself to be a Useful Manual of Wellsbet Law. "The beginner's guide. Despite its appearance, it seems quite comprehensive."As good a choice as any. "Thank you, Katherine.""You'll need to register a library card before you can borrow a book," Katherine says, heading back to the front desk. "For identification. Although everyone knows who you are by now."You were hoping she wouldn't mention that.>[1/?]
>>35647614That's ridiculous. We're obviously from a major crime family and trying to get out of that life.
>>35647771Or maybe still working loyally for them. Go all Machiavellian on everybody's ass. Climb and backstab our way into a high position, for our little "mafia" family to gain more power and influence.
You pass by a cluster of people apparently in deep and contentious research around a nearby shelf. Katherine shoots them a single glare, which one of the group catches; the unfortunate target turns pale, and hushes his fellows."The self-help section," Katherine explains. "For the sort of people who wish to improve their minds, for they do not have much of a mind to work with.""I don't suppose there's anything here that can help me with talking to people?""I've found that the best method is not to talk to anyone in the first place," Katherine replies.Tempting, but not an option for you, given your position.You fill out the library card, and Katherine makes a note in a ledger. "Return the book within a week. You may borrow two books at a time."You don't have the time to look for another book. "I'll remember that. Thank you for the help.""Don't lose or damage the book." Katherine does not elaborate on the consequences for doing so, which you find far more intimidating than is probably warranted.You head to your room to drop off the book first, to be safe. This leaves you with just enough time to gobble a modest portion of lunch, which is a selection of fresh vegetables slathered in a piquantly spicy sauce you don't recognize. Several of your fellow diners are reduced to choking and cursing as they reach for the water jugs; you try not to notice the admiring stares as you finish your meal without apparent ill effect.You are a little early for the appointment with Clarissa by the time you arrive in front of the door to her office, although you're not sure by how much. Maybe about half an hour.> Knock and enter> Loiter around outside
>>35647877> Knock and enter
> Knock and enterIf we're too early it's a good time to apologise and ask for a timepiece
>>35647877>> Knock and enter
>>35647877>Knock and wait till your invited in
OP is kill?
Punctuality has quite a lot to say about being tardy, but is mysteriously silent about being too early. Lingering outside the door for half an hour would be tremendously suspicious, and there isn't much time to head back to your room to read the book of law.You knock politely on the door."Come in," Clarissa's voice calls from the inside.You carefully open the door and enter, lest there be some unexpected surprise waiting within; you imagine precarious towers of paperwork, ready to topple at the slightest provocation.This turns out to be the exact opposite of the case. Clarissa's workspace is as obsessively neat as her half of the room, making her office look spacious and airy, despite what seems like a substantial number of cabinets and shelves filled with files. Even the mere memory of Elise's laboratory is claustrophobic in comparison.Clarissa looks up from her work. "This is a surprise," she says. "I did not expect you to be this early, Nicole."You smile apologetically. "I, uh, don't have a timepiece, so I erred on the side of caution. What time is it, by the way?"Clarissa checks her pocketwatch. "Half past one."Quite accurate for guesswork."I thought you would be out in the city, shopping," Clarissa says. "Buying more clothes, and, among other things, a timepiece."You consider telling her that you have no money with which to go shopping, but this may not be the most appropriate time."I will be done soon enough, so do take a seat for now." Clarissa gestures to a trio of uncomfortable-looking seats lined up by the window. Clarissa's own chair looks marginally more luxurious, enough that she probably would not feel tempted to make excuses to leave her desk after a few hours of work.You perch on the edge of your seat, acutely aware of the awkward silence common to all subordinates told to wait in the presence of their superiors.>[1/?]
Clarissa breaks the silence after a few minutes, to your immense relief. "How well can you read and write?""Well enough," you say. "I've had no complaints about my penmanship." No compliments either, or any commentary whatsoever, but that's beside the point. "I read books for leisure, and I'm told I have a head for numbers.""Uncommon for a girl raised in a small town."Oh, right, you gave Clarissa the impression that you are a rustic type visiting the big city for the first time. "I had a few good teachers.""Languages?""Empire Common," you reply. "Some Silden trade lingo. Enough Karugian pidgin to order a drink. A very tiny bit of Esterian Elvish." And a few other languages, but she doesn't need to know that.This passes without suspicion, as you hoped it would. Given your story of coming from Silden, that set of languages is standard fare for anyone from that country, and even a little less than might be expected. Better that you are assumed to know too little than to know too much.>[2/3]
"You'll be joining me for classes in the afternoons," Clarissa says. "Rather, you shall be learning, and I shall be teaching. You will not be the only student in the class, of course; the lessons are primarily intended for the Duke's son, but we allow other children to participate. I do not expect you to understand everything immediately, given that you are joining the class late." She glances at your cast. "And I am not sure how you can take notes in that condition."Actually you've been writing with your left hand almost as well as your right, considering you had to sign for your new dagger and your library card. "It won't be a problem, Captain.""Oh? Well done. In any case, given that I am the only one of the knights present in Alvar, I will be taking over most of the lessons. Elise and Simone will be teaching other subjects, as will Anders, assuming he does not delegate the job to one of his clerks." Clarissa finishes her current piece of paperwork with rather more vehemence than is strictly necessary, no doubt envious of the fortunate few whose lot in life include assistants. "Do you have any questions, before we go?"> "What will the lessons be about?"> "Other children?"> "Will there be tests?"> "No questions, Captain."
>>35648686>> "Other children?"not just the prince?
>>35648686> "What will the lessons be about?"> "Other children?"So we can study a bit before hand, and you know be awesome and shit. And find out our competition, and crush them under our sheer dominance and become the ultimate knight-apprentice.
>>35648686> "What will the lessons be about?"
>>35648686> "What will the lessons be about?"> "Will there be tests?"Just to know how much & how well we should prepare.
>>35648727>ultimate knight-apprenticealso the ONLY knight-apprentice
>>35648746Fuck yeah. "To become the best of the best of the best!"
>>35648686>"Do you have any reading suggestions, so that I might possibly catch up with the others?"
>>35648686>> "Other children?"...This also implies we're currently considered on-par with children.There is a downside to being assumed to know too little.
>>35648824They are still our competition. We will destroy them. We will reign supreme. There are time to show mercy and times not to. We show no mercy to these "children". We will become the ultimate knight-apprentice.
>>35648977Calm down there, buddy. I don't think thats how this works.
You had been told about these lessons the day you became a knight-apprentice, but events had changed everyone's plans. It has been a while since you've had to undergo formal education, and suddenly you feel young and ignorant. "What will the lessons be about?" you ask. They might cover ground you're already familiar with, after all. It is a faint hope, but it is a hope nonetheless."A variety of subjects," Clarissa says. "I'm afraid I do not have a copy of the schedule here with me, but there is one in the classroom on the second floor. Not all subjects will be taught every day, and except for the Duke's son, students come and go as they will.""Even myself?"Clarissa taps a finger to her lips in thought. "Some of the lessons will be optional; if you have no intention of learning magical theory, for instance, you may skip Elise's lessons. The same applies for mathematics, should you feel you are competent enough. Anders's Elvish lessons are technically optional, but I would highly recommend that you attend anyway."Magical theory would be instructive, if only to keep an eye on Victor and see why he feels the lessons are insufficient for his needs. You're confident in your arithmetic, but you should probably attend a class or two to see whether more advanced concepts are being taught.You would really rather not spend much time in a situation where Anders can inspect you at his leisure under the guise of imparting education."Others, like etiquette, history, and philosophy, are mandatory for you. You will have to learn the responsibilities and duties of a knight, and how to carry them out. As I said when you were accepted as a squire-""Knight-apprentice.""-knight-apprentice, being a knight is not simply force of arms. We have come a long way from the Iron Knights of the Old Empire, and we must learn from their mistakes, to achieve the ideals they once aspired to.">[1/?]
>>35649367ULTIMATE KNIGHT APPRENTICE!
>>35645412good thing were definitively and behold all question a human then
Your apprehension must have shown on your face; Clarissa gives you a reassuring smile, which is much better than the ones she attempted on your first day here. "It sounds worse than it is, I promise. Remember that these lessons are for the Duke's son, and we are not so cruel as to lock him in a classroom for the entire day."Sounds fair enough. "What about the other children?""From the families of the palace household staff, for the most part. It's up to their parents whether they attend a given lesson. We do not check, because quite frankly we do not have the time or inclination to pursue charges of truancy." Clarissa smirks at you. "Of course, you are an exception. For one thing, I know where you live."That was almost a joke.Clarissa finishes the last of her paperwork, and drops it into the designated box for outgoing correspondence. "You should go on ahead. You do know where the classroom is?"You found it on the first day of your knight-apprenticeship, during your explorations of the palace. Well, you found two, but only one showed signs of recent use. "Yes, Captain.""I need to collect some of my teaching materials. The first class should be etiquette; it might be a good chance for you to observe how the lesson goes."The classroom is empty when you reach it. You slip inside, and stand awkwardly in the corner.>[2/3]
There are twelve simple desks in the classroom, most of which look well-used. You open one of the drawers, to find a slate and abacus within. Extra chairs are stacked optimistically at the back of the classroom, in case there are more than twelve pupils at any given time.Voices float in from outside. Victor, chattering about something or other; a storybook he had read, apparently. He stops when he enters the classroom and sees you. "Oh, hey, Nicole! What are you doing here?"Clarissa, following behind him, looks surprised. "You've met each other?"Victor freezes up. "Uh..."> "Good afternoon, Victor. Looks like we'll be classmates from now on."> "Yes, Captain. On the first day I arrived. We had a nice chat."> "Only briefly, Captain. We didn't talk much."
>>35649523>"Hey Victor," first. Then, "I found him as I was meandering the castle, Captain."
>>35649523>2nd Optionthen >1st OptionAlso, remember to smile.
>>35649523>> "Yes, Captain. On the first day I arrived. We had a nice chat."
>>35649541Smiling is typical human behaviour afterall
>>35649523> "Good afternoon, Victor. Looks like we'll be classmates from now on."> "Yes, Captain. On the first day I arrived. We had a nice chat."
>>35649556Yes, indeed. All to keep up the guise, and achieve our goal of becoming the ultimate knight-apprentice.
>>35649523>>35649541Yes. I remember how helpful smiling is from "How to be a friendly Human"
>>35649523I want to make a joke about not nearly being killed by everything we ran into that day. But I don't think Nicole wants to.> "Yes, Captain. On the first day I arrived. We had a nice chat."
>>35649523>> "Good afternoon, Victor. Looks like we'll be classmates from now on.">> "Yes, Captain. On the first day I arrived. Only briefly, though. We didn't talk much."
The boy is obviously thinking about the secret you promised to keep, about his extracurricular studies into the more advanced and dangerous forms of magic. You have no intention of breaking that promise. You should probably be reassuring and friendly and normal.You give him your best smile. "Good afternoon, Victor. Looks like we'll be classmates from now on.""Oh! Ah, yes, of course. Classmates." Victor swallows hard. "How are you, Nicole? I, uh, heard about your accident."The whole palace has heard about your accident. "I'm fine, Victor. Thanks for asking. In any case, Captain, I met Victor on the first day I arrived, when I was looking around the palace. We had a nice chat."Clarissa looks distracted, as though trying to recall something moderately worrisome. After a moment, she shakes her head, giving up. "Take a seat, you two. I'll begin the lesson in a minute.""Yes, ma'am!" Victor takes a seat in the front row, putting the problem of you out of his head for the moment. You slip into a desk at the back corner, and try to be unobtrusive.>[1/2]
Now that the designated lesson time has arrived, the classroom begins filling up. None of the other students are above the age of fourteen; all of them stare at you before remembering that doing so is rude, and avert their gazes, settling for side glances at the strange and unfamiliar young woman in their midst.Including yourself and Victor, there are seven students in the class. The other students take seats at random, and pay varying amounts of attention to each other and Clarissa, who is busy sketching out the day's lesson plan on the blackboard in front of the class. Victor is the sole exception, watching Clarissa with rapt attention.Just when you've resigned yourself to be the oldest and oddest of the students, the door opens once more, and Lily the maid quietly enters. She does a quick double-take when she sees you, but smiles welcomingly instead, taking a seat next to yours."Are you joining the classes too?" she whispers to you.> "Yes, I am. At least some of them."> "Yes, it's one of my duties as a knight-apprentice."> "There are some gaps in my education I'm hoping to fill."> "Are you a regular student?"
>>35649912>"Yes, it's one of my duties as a knight-apprentice."Formal is normal!
>>35649912> "Yes, it's one of my duties as a knight-apprentice."> "There are some gaps in my education I'm hoping to fill."> "Are you a regular student?"
>>35649912> "Yes, it's one of my duties as a knight-apprentice."> "There are some gaps in my education I'm hoping to fill."ULTIMATE KNIGHT APPRENTICE!
>>35649912>> "Yes, it's one of my duties as a knight-apprentice.">> "There are some gaps in my education I'm hoping to fill."
>>35649912> "Yes, it's one of my duties as a knight-apprentice."> "Are you a regular student?"
"It's one my my duties as a knight-apprentice," you say. "But I've discovered some major gaps in my education, and I'm hoping to be able to fill them." Such as pretty much everything to do with Alvar and Wellsbet."That's a good attitude to have," Lily says. "I'd be happy to help you with anything you're not familiar with. Oh, but you're in the same room as the Knight Captain, aren't you? You could probably ask her to teach you instead."Before you can reply, Clarissa finishes her preparations. "All right, pay attention," she commands in her finest Knight Captain voice, and the classroom murmurs quickly fade away.The etiquette lesson, as far as you can tell, involves learning the exact hierarchy of each and every one of the nobility of all seven human kingdoms, and how to address them all in an endless array of potential situations. You are quickly lost in a morass of titles and family trees; it does not help that you recognize none of the names mentioned in this particular lesson. You try to listen for any mention of Ridelham, being Clarissa's family, but either it's not in the lesson plan, or she is avoiding that topic for some personal reason.The lesson itself is conducted servicably. If you had begun learning this from the beginning, you might have been able to discern some hidden pattern in the chaos of aristocracy. As it is, you're going to have to do some intense study on your own to have even the slightest hope of catching up.>[1/2]
>>35649912new post imminent
>>35649912> "Yes, it's one of my duties as a knight-apprentice."
Beside you, Lily is taking copious notes in a little notebook. The rest of the class appears to have succumbed to the onslaught of information, save for Victor, who remains as attentive as ever.In fact, Victor seems less interested in the lesson than Clarissa herself. You try to remember what this reminds you of for a while, before it strikes you that the picture would be complete with a wagging puppy's tail.After a thousand years, the lesson finally ends. Clarissa, judging the glassy-eyed state of most of her class, calls for a ten-minute break.Most of the rest of the class leave. Victor immediately bounces over to Clarissa, asking for clarification on some point in his notes. You're not sure he actually needs the help, rather than making an excuse to talk to Clarissa.Lily takes the opportunity to stretch her arms. "How are you keeping up with the class so far?"> "It's a little difficult to follow, but I think I have the gist of it."> "I'm going to need to work a lot harder to catch up at this rate."> "I may have fallen into a special, horrible level of the abyss."> "If you don't mind, could you tutor me on some of this?"
>>35650462OP takes roughly 20 minutes to do each post, which is actually impressive.
>>35650464> "I'm going to need to work a lot harder to catch up at this rate."
>>35650464"Does the boy...really have such a thing for the Captain?"
>>35650464>"If you don't mind, could you tutor me on some of this?"This class was actually considered important, best to ask for help.
>>35650464> "I'm going to need to work a lot harder to catch up at this rate."> "If you don't mind, could you tutor me on some of this?"
>>35650509It's useless; you're not going to bump into any of them on the streets and if you know someone important is coming to visit then you just look it up for that specific person. Focus on something else.
>>35650464>> "I'm going to need to work a lot harder to catch up at this rate.">> "I may have fallen into a special, horrible level of the abyss."
>>35650500Seconding, whatever else happens,
>>35650464>> "If you don't mind, could you tutor me on some of this?"
>>35650464Post imminent (2 for 2?)
"I'm going to need to work a lot harder to catch up at this rate," you say ruefully. "Is it always this complex?""Mm, Knight Captain Clarissa is actually taking over for Sir William for the etiquette lessons," Lily says. "I don't think it's her expertise."Which is a surprise, since you're fairly sure Clarissa is nobility herself, and thus steeped in the exact sort of knowledge the etiquette lesson is supposed to impart. There's probably a difference between knowing something due to growing up with it, and being able to convey that to others."She's much better with history," Lily says. "Which is coming up next, as it happens."You are not certain you have the willpower to stay awake through another round of this. Still, the history of Alvar is one of the topics you really should be paying attention to."You don't have a timetable for the lessons, do you?" Lily asks."No, I don't."Lily passes you a sheet of paper. "Here; I have copies, so you can keep this one."It's a grid of subject periods for a week, including times and teachers. Ninety minutes per period, which explains the sensation of having gazed into eternity, but only two periods per day.Certain periods are marked with very neat handwriting. From the corresponding time slots, you guess that these are the subject periods that Lily attends, while the others interfere with her duties as a maid."You're certainly very diligent," you say.Lily blushes faintly at the praise. "Thank you. The Matron approves of my joining the classes, so I get a lot of time off. Everyone's really nice to me here."Victor is still monopolizing Clarissa's time. For her part, Clarissa seems oblivious to the amount of attention she is receiving.You try to think of a delicate way to phrase it. "Has Victor always been, uh, paying attention to the Captain?"Lily looks doubtful. "I don't know. I'm sorry; I'm actually quite new here too. It looks like it, doesn't it?">[1/?]
A fresh set of students have replaced the ones who left, which heralds the start of the new subject."Settle down, everyone," Clarissa says, going back to the blackboard. Now that you know what to look for, you can see Victor's look of mild disappointment, as he returns to his seat.One last thing to ask Lily before the lesson begins. "Um, if you don't mind, could you tutor me on some of this? I know how busy you are, but it would help me a great deal."Lily gives you a quick smile and nod.To your disappointment, it is not a history of Alvar or Wellsbet, but a history of Norvisk, the northernmost of the human kingdoms. Not something you are interested in, or especially relevant to your situation.> Pay attention to the lesson> Pay attention to Victor> Pay attention to Lily> Zone out
>>35650805>I'm actually quite new here too.Friend!
>>35650876> Pay attention to the lesson
>>35650920Golem Assassin crafted by robots.
>>35650876>> Pay attention to the lessonLearning!
>>35650876>Pay attention to the lessonSurely she would teach it if it didn't somehow relate to this place. She'll get to the point!
>>35650957Delicious. But I think the captain is preferable.
>>35650927But anon, we're the only one around who is dark like clay.
>>35650967IT IS AN ACCEPTABLE HUMAN SKIN PIGMENTATION!
>>35650967Hey there could be other reasons Nicole was so worried about her ears.Adorable reasons.
>>35651033Oh, THAT'S why. We're not a trap!We're a furry
>>35651065It would explain the persecution complex.
>>35650957You are horrible anon, I haven't had lunch, I wont be able to go get it untill someone responds to my email, and if the magical food genie come and offered me whatever it was I wanted, I would ask him for exactly that. I hope you find your fridge mysteriously devoid of bacon.
>>35651078also the extreme fear of being 'found out'
>>35651102Sadly, it is.
>TFW I finally make it into a live thread
True to Lily's prediction, Clarissa is much better at engaging the students during her history lesson. Unfortunately, the subject matter fails to rouse your own interest.Norvisk was always the most restive of the Old Empire's provinces, and when the Empire fell apart, Norvisk was one of the first to declare independence. With the chaos of the final days of the Old Empire, Norvisk was deemed too unimportant to be reconquered, when more valuable provinces such as Whiteford and Silden were breaking off as well.Left to their own devices, the Norviskri fell into civil war, which raged for just over a hundred years, much of which was when Norvisk was divided into three sub-kingdoms that endlessly allied with and betrayed each other. Eventually the kingdom was re-united into the present day incarnation, but the history lesson today focuses on that time of civil war.To be perfectly honest, you don't really see much value in learning about screaming fur-clad barbarians hacking each other to bits, despite the large number of allegedly epic poems written about that period of time.As far as you know, no ancient ruins were ever found that far north. And thus does your interest in Norvisk begin and end.Apparently the main point of this lesson is to examine certain battles during that civil war, and how they were lost and won, in the hopes that some of the strategic and tactical lessons would percolate into the minds of future commanders. From your idle survey of the classroom, most of the male students and some of the female ones are following the detailed accounts of the battles with great interest. Evidently, you are in the minority.A tiny sound beside you draws your attention. Lily is heroically attempting to suppress a yawn.>[1/?]
Well, a knight is supposed to be able to command soldiers in the field. You try to glean the underlying truisms within the study of battles long past, most of which appear to boil down to endeavouring to outnumber your enemy by a significant factor.The lesson ends in the middle of a clinical description of a famous strategy that resulted in the opposing army being trapped in a valley and freezing to death. Clarissa announces the end of class, and the students file out of the classroom with various degrees of enthusiasm. Victor casts a final longing look at Clarissa, before exiting himself.Lily packs her study materials together. "It's nice to see you again, Nicole. Most of my duties are in the morning; I'm usually free after dinnertime, so if you'd like me to tutor you then, you can ask me during class."You are going to need all the help you can get for these lessons. Imposing even further on Clarissa's limited time would be a last resort. "Thank you, Lily. I might take you up on that offer soon."Lily hesitates. "Um. If you don't mind, would you like to accompany me for dinner? If you don't have any other plans, I mean."> Accept> Decline, wait for Clarissa> Decline, eat alone
>>35651561> Accept, inform ClarissaWe're on a sorta probation thingy, aren't we?
>>35651561> Decline, wait for Clarissa
>>35651561> Accept, inform Clarissa
>>35651561I'm not sure if we had other plans.
>>35651664neither am i
>>35651561> AcceptNeed to develop those contacts,
>>35651664/tg/ jumps at the first thing that might spread it's legs.
>>35651561>>35651664 here>Accept but inform Clarissa.I can't really think of a reason not to.
Given Lily's presence here in the classroom and not the kitchen, it would be logical to deduce that she is either not on dinner preparation duty today, or that helping out in the kitchens is not part of her duties at all. And since she's still here while Victor is gone, she's not assigned to the Duke's son today.You don't have much of a reason to decline her offer. And it might be a good idea to chat with Lily for a while; servants see and hear plenty of things, and few notice them when they're going about their duties."Captain?" you call out.Clarissa, tidying up the teacher's desk, glances up at you. "What is it, Nicole?""I'm going for dinner now. With Lily. I'll head back to our room after that.""Understood. Carry on." Clarissa returns to her cleaning.That preoccupation with neatness is beginning to be a little unsettling.You make your way down to the kitchens with Lily. She makes a quick detour at the servant's quarters, to deposit her study materials. When she returns, she seems to be noticeably less cheerful."What is being a knight-apprentice like?" she asks suddenly, before you can ask her why. You recognize the classic diversionary tactic of changing the subject.> "Challenging, but rewarding."> "It has a lot of responsibilities to live up to."> "I don't know. I've only been one for a few days."> "Is something wrong?"
> "Challenging, but rewarding."> "Or so I hope. I've only been one for a couple days."
>>35651903> "Is something wrong?"
>>35651903> "I don't know. I've only been one for a few days."> "Is something wrong?"
>>35651903> "I don't know. I've only been one for a few days."> "Is something wrong?"Haven't exactly done much due to our arm.
>>35651903> "I don't know. I've only been one for a few days."> "Is something wrong?"Ooh, a dissatisfied servant? An even better contact.
>>35651903>You recognize the classic diversionary tactic of changing the subject.But we haven't even asked anything yet.
>>35651969I'd hazard a guess that something happened in the servant's quarters. Maybe the older maids trying to get information through Lily?It could happen.
>>35652055Or casual racism.
>>35651903>> "I don't know. I've only been one for a few days.">> "Is something wrong?"Lily's a nice girl.
>blushed from our praise>invites us to dinner>name is lilyGee, I wonder what this means.
>>35652161Is.. this not standard human practice?
>>35652161Clearly not yuri.
>>35652161A nice girl who has just started working and doesn't have any friends yet?
>>35652189Yes, her name is Lily. We have met no Yuri's that I can recall.
>>35652161A nice girl with a pretty name who apparently is picked on by the other maids and is thus glad for another girl her own age who is friendly and appreciates her company?
"I don't know," you confess. "I've only been one for a few days." Most of which were spent unconscious. "And I haven't been able to do much since joining," you add, raising your arm just enough to bring the cast into view.Lily blinks. "Oh, I'm so sorry. I forgot about that."You wistfully consider a future where everyone did the same."It's just that you seem really comfortable in your role now, you know?" Lily smiles encouragingly. "Like you've been doing it for a long time now."Such undeserved praise has the twin effects of making you embarrassed and suspicious. "Is something wrong?" you ask. "You seem a little down."Lily shakes her head. "No, it's nothing. I just... the mail was handed out just now, and I saw a letter on my bed. A letter from home. It's a personal thing. Nothing to worry about."Your immediate instinct is to avoid personal subjects, if only because you'd rather not personal topics become fair game for conversation. From Lily's silence, she was thinking much the same thing.Dinner is a spread of chicken and turkey. You take your small portion, which Lily matches.Once seated at a table, Lily clears her throat. "So, uh, I have a lot of questions I'd like to ask, but it doesn't seem fair for me to keep asking. So why don't we trade questions? I'll ask one, and you'll ask one. Back and forth."You can't see a downside to this, assuming it stays within the bounds of pleasant dinner conversation. "But if either of us doesn't want to answer the question, then it doesn't count. The other can ask another question." That should avoid any topics that stray uncomfortably close to the truth."Right." Lily seems relieved. "You can start first."You consider your first question. Starting with something easy would be polite.> "How long have you been working here at the palace?"> "What's it like being a maid?"> "What brought you here to Alvar?"
>>35652340>> "What's it like being a maid?"
>>35652340> "What brought you here to Alvar?"
>>35652340>> "What brought you here to Alvar?"
>>35652340>"What brought you here to Alvar?"Oh right, the questions. I didn't think this through.
"What brought you here to Alvar?" you ask. That should be simple enough; maybe you'll learn a little bit more about Lily's hopes and dreams.You certainly did not expect Lily's reaction.It was just for a moment, but you happened to be watching her face at the time. Lily had the polite smile of someone who was negotiating the hazardous waters of social convention, in order to reach the clear sailing of friendship beyond. Which was pretty much the situation at hand, and you did not think much of it.But just for an instant, that smile looked... odd. As though the silhouette of someone's face caught the light in a certain way, and you realize that you are looking at a mask.The moment passes, and Lily's smile is as it should be.Not as easy a question as you thought, it seems."There were quite a few reasons," she says. "But I ended up in the city, and I saw that the palace was looking to hire more servants. So I applied, and to my surprise, I got the job."Almost an echo of your own situation, and about as vague as any answer could be. Still, Lily's secrets are probably less ominous than yours. Prying them open would just be unconscionably rude, rather than actively dangerous."My turn," Lily continues. "How are you finding life in the palace so far?"> "It's great. There's a hot bath and showers, the library is huge, and the food is delicious."> "I haven't really been here long enough to make a proper opinion, but so far I like it."> "It can be dangerous at times, but that's probably my fault."
>>35652803> "It's great. There's a hot bath and showers, the library is huge, and the food is delicious."
> "It's great. There's a hot bath and showers, the library is huge, and the food is delicious."> "It can be dangerous at times, but that's probably my fault."
>>35652803>> "It's great. There's a hot bath and showers, the library is huge, and the food is delicious.">"Shame that I broke my arm within hours of arriving but hey"
>>35652803> "It can be dangerous at times, but that's probably my fault."Lily's the actual spy. She going to smother us in our sleep when she thinks we've found that out.
>>35652803>> "It's great. There's a hot bath and showers, the library is huge, and the food is delicious.">> "It can be dangerous at times, but that's probably my fault."
>>35652803> "It's great. There's a hot bath and showers, the library is huge, and the food is delicious."Motherfucking LUXURY
>>35652803> "I haven't really been here long enough to make a proper opinion, but so far I like it."
>>35652803>"It's great. There's a hot bath and showers, the library is huge, and the food is delicious.">"It can be dangerous at times, but that's probably my fault."Muh hot water and good food.
>>35652893>Lily's the actual spy. She going to smother us in our sleep when she thinks we've found that out.Not if we fuck her unconscious and wake up on top of her first and win her over with breakfast in bed and delicious amazing sex afterglow
>>35652845>>35652847>>35652856>>35652896So are you guys saying this to lie or what?It seems extremely out of character.
>>35652963Not really, the character has been sort of overwhelmed by everything.
>>35652963Who would complain about hot water and plumbing in a fantasy world?
Is there any more art of the girl in the OP?
>>35652963what? this place is awesome considering the glimpses of poverty we've come from, its the truth
>>35652997Overwhelmed but not exactly over joyed.>>35653012I didn't say complain but every instance I've seen she's either taken it as standard or been pessimistic about deserving such things.To suddenly gush seems very odd.
>>35653067Our protagonist is inwardly pessimistic about a lot of things. Including herself.
>>35653067What have you been reading because you're wildly off base.
Living in the ducal palace of Alvar has been surprisingly luxurious, compared to your life before. It's not difficult to sing its praises, which has the bonus of giving the impression that you never want to leave."There's hot running water, a full bath, and even showers," you say. "The library is huge and full of books, and the food here is delicious. It's one of the best places I've ever lived in.""I know, isn't it fantastic?" Lily's enthusiasm shines through her reserved demeanour. "The beds are so soft, and everyone is so nice, even though I'm-" She cuts herself short. "I mean, everyone is really nice to me. And each other."Her hand goes up to touch her pointed ears self-consciously.As far as you can see, being an elf in Alvar is not inherently a disadvantageous position. Anders, Elise, and Katherine are not persecuted for their elven heritage, and apart from the general tension due to the political situation between Wellsbet and Ayrich, you did not see any sign of prejudice against elves.But an elf working as a maid might have a different perspective of racial relations.Your turn to ask a question.> "What's the strangest thing you've encountered so far in Alvar?"> "Do you get along with the other elves in the palace?"> "Is it difficult to find a balance between your work and your studies?"
> "What's the strangest thing you've encountered so far in Alvar?"
>>35653151> "What's the strangest thing you've encountered so far in Alvar?">>35653079How so? I have seen no instances of outward affection or joy at anything here. I believe ops current post would be the first.
>>35653151>"What's the strangest thing you've encountered so far in Alvar?"
>>35653151> "What's the strangest thing you've encountered so far in Alvar?"> "Do you get along with the other elves in the palace?"inb4 only elf
>>35653151>> "What's the strangest thing you've encountered so far in Alvar?"Clearly not us. We are too human for that.
>>35653151> "What's the strangest thing you've encountered so far in Alvar?"
>>35653151>> "What's the strangest thing you've encountered so far in Alvar?">>35653314One, it's one question for one question. Two, the seneschal or whatever is an elf.
Questions about Lily's past are probably off-limits. You're not sure where the touchy subjects are, so best to avoid the entire field.Maybe something less personal. And potentially useful. "What's the strangest thing you've encountered so far in Alvar?"Lily hesitates. "It's a little embarrassing to say. I mean, it'll seem like I'm just making things up."This being casual friendly dinner conversation, fabricating an incident is a distinct possibility, since the consequences are negligible. But you don't think Lily is the sort to do something like that, at least not on short notice.And any lead could end up turning into something bigger."I promise I won't tell anyone," you say. "Or laugh."Lily takes a deep breath. "I think there's something in the basement."An interesting statement. "What do you mean?""I was cleaning the rooms in the basement. I'd just started working here, about a month ago. I must have gotten turned around or something, but when I tried to find my way out, I saw this..." Lily shook her head. "I don't know what it was. I didn't get a good look at it. I only really saw its shadow, disappearing around the corner. And the shape of the shadow was... really weird."Possibly a cousin to that mysterious shadow you saw on your first day as a knight-apprentice, if not the very same being. "What happened next?""I ran away as fast as I could," Lily confessed. "Later, I got some of the others to accompany me back down the basement. We didn't find anything, of course. But I know what I saw."You wonder whether you can convince Clarissa to let you investigate the basement of the palace. It would have to take some very convincing arguments."Ah, anyway," Lily says, determined to return the conversation to the non-spooky. "My turn. What do you think of Victor?"> "He seems like a nice boy."> "I don't know him that well, sorry."> "Why do you ask?"
>>35653683> "He seems like a nice boy."
>>35653683>> "He seems like a nice boy."
>>35653683"He seems nice...though a little, ah, up in the cloud."
>>35653683He seems like a nice boy."
>>35653683> "I don't know him that well, sorry."
>>35653683>> "He seems like a nice boy."He's a good kid.
An odd turn to the conversation. You've only had one real chat with the Duke's son, along with whatever observations of him you made in the classroom, which largely consisted of his making eyes at Clarissa."He seems like a nice boy," you hazard. A safe answer.Lily seems slightly disappointed at your lukewarm response. "I see. I thought... well, never mind."You feel that something more is expected of you. "He does seem fairly close to the Knight Captain," you offer.Lily sighs morosely. "Yes, he does."By this time, both of you have finished your dinner. Lily collects both plates, despite your protests. "It's all right," she says. "I have something to take care of in the washing-up area anyway."You did tell Clarissa that you would head straight back to your room after dinner. You take your time doing so, digesting both your dinner and the conversation with Lily.Maybe it's all a huge coincidence after all. There's no proof of it actually happening, and you don't know the exact timing of events.Not to mention you still don't know how Lily's purported discovery of a strange creature or shadow in the basement of the palace might be connected to Clarissa's nightmares.Too many unknowns, and not a lot you can do to dispel the mysteries, especially if you want to preserve your own.> Maybe a shower will help> Get started on the book of law
>>35654219> Get started on the book of law
>>35654219>> Maybe a shower will helpRevel in the luxuries. We've got all night to read that book.
And the decline in my writing means it's time for me to go to sleep.I'd say I'll be back tomorrow, but after the last two times I'm not sure I should tempt fate, so I'll just say I may be back tomorrow, but check the Twitter (@QMdamp) just in case.Thanks for joining me on the quest.
>>35654219>Maybe a shower will help
>>35654219> Maybe a shower will help
>>35654295Thanks for running.May I ask how long ago it has been since the Old Empire fell?
>>35654295Tha.ks for running dude.
>>35654295Thanks for running
>>35654219>> Maybe a shower will help
>>35654219>> Get started on the book of law
>>35654219>>> Get started on the book of law