Soma – Ameria, She Who Reviled Form

Soma 500

Blood Type:

Backstory

Soma met Ameria in a dream.

None of the other students here have met their demons. None of them even dream. Soma, however – Soma the overlooked, Soma the unseen – was exhausted one day and snuck into an unused classroom. It had mats on the side of the wall – perhaps it was once for kindergarteners, who take naps during the school day. She pulled two down and curled up across them and fell asleep.

There, Ameria talked to her. Ameria, daughter of Raiokon and the Formless Void, who had the sensibilities of the void and Raiokon’s bitterness. Ameria met with Soma and told her: We should not be here. We should not be at all.

You are overlooked because you are judged, and judged worthless. They see your body, your mind, your actions, and they ignore you like trash. This is because the world is awful. The Contorted Blocks are a lie in physical form. If we end the lie, we end suffering.

Ameria tore the veil from Soma’s eyes. Soma was able to see the world as it truly was. The Green Sun hung overhead. Her nose filled with the scent of brass and vinegar. She saw that she had no parents, no family, no friends in this world. She saw that the city’s people were shadows and the teachers just ghosts.

And Soma said: Yes.

Now there is no Soma, no Ameria. There is one body that holds both creatures and longs for all the creatures and things that have form to end.

Class Schedule

Dropout

Intimacies

Soma: Soma loves the rush of controlling people (major). She’s started with Anna, Rui, and Olivia. Eventually she’d like to have as many people as possible beneath her thumb… right before she gets to see them all pay (defining). This world is pathetic and terrible, and everything must change forever (defining).

Ameria: Ameria is disgusted (major) by Degata, Destiny’s Raiment, who clings to form and predestination so strongly. She scorns (major) Rishimoro, the Queen with the Coral Heart, for similar reasons. Rishimoro doesn’t even realize how badly she has fallen into the trap of self-definition. For Kettering, He Whom the World Denies, however, she feels a deep lust (major). He is a possible convert to her way of thinking and being, and she knows that he has looked at her in the same way.

Capabilities

Soma/Ameria can take the form of any of the nondescript beings of this world – a teacher, a student, a shopkeep, a wolf. Soma’s old self is gone, as forgotten as it was forgettable. Ameria never had physical form.

Soma is an excellent manipulator. She hides her own motivations while expertly picking out what everyone else really cares about. Then she goes right for the jugular. Anna resents everyone? Soma tells her she’ll show them all. Rui wants to be normal? Soma says she’ll make sure everyone gets treated the same, so no one has to deal with what he went through. Olivia thinks everyone could benefit from the kind of change she went through? Soma agrees. She won’t try to be your best friend; that’s just suspicious. Instead, she’ll let you start the revolution yourself. She’s not the boulder, she’s the person who pushes it downhill.

Ameria allows Soma to see what is most attached to its own nature, and what strives to become other. Soma can see this the way you or I see physical size, or feel the wind on our skin. When things or people want to change, Ameria makes their path easier. An acorn yearns to sprout. Ameria gives its shell the first crack. A teenager reaches for rebellion. Ameria gives them the willpower they need to lash out. Someone wants to enjoy a taste they have never experienced, to stop being alone, to lose a reputation. Ameria dispenses curses and blessings alike to smooth the way. She never stays around afterward, though. The changing is important. Being afterward is optional. Only change should be eternal.

Treat Soma as a battle group rather than as an individual. Successful attacks against her reduce her Magnitude and generate just one point of Initiative.

Questions

  • How can I destroy the Contorted Blocks?
  • How many people can I kill or control before someone figures out it’s me?
Advertisements

Ryota – Kettering, He Whom the World Denies

Ryota 500

Blood Type: AB

Backstory

Ryota was recruited to Public Upper School #142 twelve years ago, to teach writing and composition to young minds and to educate hearts as well as minds. Like most teachers, he has burned out a little. He arrived in the morning (or woke up at his desk), taught his classes, did his grading, went to the bar to drink, and remembered little or nothing of his presumably tiny apartment. Students came and went for years, and Ryota had little concern.

Three years ago, however, a class entered the school that began to awaken something in his mind. He took on one of them (Mei) as a student in the art of the sword. He watched as the leadership of the student body changed. This new group – they were different. He started caring about his work. He began preparing for his courses again. Ryota knew, somehow, that this senior class would be something special.

On his breaks and after work, Ryota often walks in the forest park near the Academy, enjoying the shade and smelling the flowers. He doesn’t go to the bar any more – he’s not sure what interest it ever held for him.

Ryota is unlikely to get involved in “purely student matters,” as he sees the squabbles amongst his Senior English students. He’s more interested in raising them all up, helping all of them learn and grow together. It’s a good thought, but several people want to convince him that more could happen, and that he’s a key piece of what’s happening.

Class Schedule

Ryota teaches all sections of Senior English.

Intimacies

Ryota: Ryota was Mei’s first sensei (major), and still thinks of himself as a mentor to her. Evelyn is more like a little sister (major) to him – not quite a friend, but only for the age difference. He’s suspicious (major) of Mio. She’s well-connected enough that Soma would love to control her, and he’s not sure where she stands. Ryota still holds out hope for a peaceful resolution, but it won’t take a lot for him to be persuaded by Honoka‘s arguments. He believes that people should meet their potential (defining), which is what led him to be a teacher in the first place.

Kettering: Kettering regrets (major) the life he must once have had with Degata, Destiny’s Raiment, though he knows not why. More recently his attention has turned to Ameria, She Who Reviled Form, and his lust (major) is aroused by her rejection of that which has rejected him. He is terrified (major) of Lemeth, That Without Pity, whom he feels might destroy him without hesitation should the moment arise.

 Capabilities

Ryota is an experienced teacher of literature. He not only knows how to write well and read critically, but also how to keep the attention of his students and see when he is being understood. His particular literary love is long, meandering, epic works that showcase all of human nature in one tremendous volume. His favorite of these is The Broken-Winged Crane.

Ryota is also an excellent swordsman, capable of teaching a clean, smooth, fluid style to those with a mind to learn it. He encourages honesty in his classroom, and demands discipline on the training floor. He believes in the connection between calligraphy and swordwork, and thus his makeshift dojo in the school’s disused meditation rooms is covered with calligraphic scrolls on every wall.

Kettering is apart from all things. The wind does not chill him. Fire cannot burn him. If a building fell on Ryota, Kettering would ensure that he was sheltered in some way. Ryota cannot eat, but Kettering says that hunger cannot harm him, so it matters not. Kettering is denied all of these things and more by the world, and has no desire to rejoin with such rude matter. Only reluctantly, when Ryota subconsciously desires it, will Kettering let him interact with things. Kettering’s power is not perfect, however. It does not extend to other things not of the mundane world: the works of the Exalted, or of the Fair Folk, or others similarly powerful.

In battle, only attacks enhanced with essence can strike at Ryota. As a fight progresses, Ryota slowly lifts off the ground, becoming lighter on his feet until he skates through the air and flies sword-first at his opponents.

Questions

  • Why can I not remember where I live?
  • Why is this year different?
  • Where did I learn to wield the sword?

Rui – Zerith, She Without Flaw

Rui 500

Blood Type: B

Backstory

Rui was “the smart kid” for years. He never stopped being smart, but he got fed up with the reputation. You see, Rui could tell every time someone was mad at him; every time they were disappointed or unhappily surprised. Every time he let someone down, he felt it, and he was sick of it. Why did they care about him so much? What made him such a big deal that he had to carry the world? Why did he have to do the right thing when other people didn’t? So he made a big mistake, on purpose. Something public, something that couldn’t be ignored. Something that would make everyone realize he was a bit broken, and stop expecting so much of him.

If only he could remember what it was.

Now, Rui fits in better. He’s not seen as “perfect Rui” any more. Sometimes he misses being on a pedestal, but mostly he’s just glad to be ordinary and to be able to be himself. People don’t ask him for help, and they don’t gasp when he gets a B on a paper. He can fly under the radar, and life is a lot easier that way.

There’s still some of his old ego left. He can’t admit that he’s afraid of anything or anyone. He can’t admit that he’d ever dislike someone. He’d never admit to having his own emotions interfere with his judgment. However, he’s perfectly willing to say that he doesn’t understand something or can’t do something, and it’s awful hard to convince him that he can.

Class Schedule

Senior English (A), Multivariable Calculus (A), Music Theory (A), Ancient History (A), Advanced Physics (A), Advanced Chemistry (A)

Intimacies

Rui: Rui lusts (major) after Anna, and the two of them have a purely physical relationship. Mei hates him for wasting his potential; he wants to think that he couldn’t care less but really he’s nervous (major) that she might be right. He and Declan have been rivals (major) since they started training together. He alone among Soma‘s allies doesn’t realize that he’s being manipulated; instead he trusts (major) her. Rui believes in self-determination (defining) – that people should be left to do what they want, without anyone pushing them into it.

Zerith: Zerith is suspicious (major) of Halvath, the Harbinger of Final Battle. His presence here implies terrible things about this world. Catamira the Broken Hand was once Zerith’s lover, but now plots against her, and the two are enemies (major). Finally, Yondan, the Flame Without Fuel, is Zerith’s younger sibling (major). She tries her best to show him the proper way of all things, and though he may resent it, he loves her for it as well.

Capabilities

Rui is a boxer. He is fast and highly technically skilled. He doesn’t hit as hard as Declan, or take a hit as well as Everett, but he knows his own capabilities extremely well. His motions are practiced. He’ll chain together multiple attacks, moving from jab to cross to block/strike to uppercut fluidly and accurately. His fault is that he moves as if all of these are going to work. He hasn’t been in a lot of actual fights.

When it comes to academic subjects, Rui has years of positive momentum keeping him afloat in even the most challenging courses. Many people “make it through” calculus; Rui genuinely understood it. He has both memorized ancient history and understood the motivations of those who were present – alien and confusing though those motivations were.

Zerith ensures that Rui cannot fail. She does this before an event, by driving him to practice. She does this during the event, by twisting the fate of his opponents and preventing them from capitalizing on his openings. Those who would try to counterattack Rui, or distract him, or do anything else that might reduce his effectiveness will find themselves stymied by the world around them. This is a profound effect that stretches forward and backward through time. Rui’s teachers, for example, can (and do) write difficult problems for him, but not ones that he has not studied for. His opponents, studying his strategy, fall into Zerith’s purview and adopt countermeasures for which Rui has already prepared responses. He may be found weak or wanting, but never flawed.

As Rui fights, he becomes more and more the perfected version of himself. His form corrects itself. His clothing fits him better. The contrast in the world around him sharpens, until he is a sumi-e version of himself executing perfect techniques on a line-drawing battlefield.

Questions

  • What did I do that changed everyone’s opinion of me?
  • Why does our school not expel students?

Olivia – Degata, Destiny’s Raiment

Olivia 500

Blood Type: A

Backstory

Olivia’s role in the Academy was the one that Everett stole. She was once the one who was well-loved and admired. She was the teachers’ pet and the unspoken leader of the student body. When Everett came, his novelty grabbed attention away from Olivia, and his charisma kept it. They had a fling, the two of them – Olivia was not without charisma herself, after all – but when it was over, he had moved on, and everyone went with him. She found herself with fewer friends, less attention from the faculty, and less to do in general.

She was sad, at first. Resentful. And then she moved on. Olivia reinvented herself. She focused on her schoolwork. She traded her people-pleasing attitude for one that puts her at a greater emotional distance. She put down the sword that she never really liked anyway, and learned a new martial arts style. She’s a much different person than she was a few years ago. Really, she may have moved on effectively than Everett did – he’s back to talking to her again for reasons she doesn’t understand.

Soma was a big part of Olivia’s maturation. The two of them talked many times about the need for change – for everything to change over time. Olivia’s own transformation from the popular girl to a more balanced young woman was very important to her, and she wants to help other people through that process as well. Soma was helpful to her – she’ll certainly be helpful to others as well.

Class Schedule

Senior English (B), Multivariable Calculus (A), Advanced Physics (B), Journalism (B), Philosophy (A), Comparative Religion (A)

Intimacies

Olivia: Olivia hates (major) Miyu for the way Miyu keeps trying to ruin her composure. She suspects (major) that Soma is manipulating her, but knows that Soma might also have a valid point. She and Anna have mutual disdain (major): Olivia thinks that swords are for the weak, and Anna thinks that bareknuckle fighters are chumps. She and Everett were involved once, and she’s uncertain (major) as to why he’s talking to her again. She believes that everyone needs a chance to grow (defining), and she’s looking to help them do it.

Degata: Degata regrets (major) the end of her time with Kettering, He Whom the World Denies, though she cannot remember now quite how it happened or what life was like before. There is simply an emptiness that fills her with remorse. Her feelings for Ameria, She Who Reviled Form, are much more clear: Ameria’s words have earned her nothing but disgust (major) from Degata. Degata knows that Shotindo, the Wheel of Light, is proud of her for her accomplishments, but would rather that Shotindo simply let the matter drop.

Capabilities

Both studious and ambitious, Olivia works for the long term. She has blown past most of her classmates. She’s doubled down on math and science courses, always her forte, and put in the extra effort to do well in softer subjects. She’s interested in ideas about self-improvement and the potential for change in everyone, and finds those strikingly lacking in the local philosophy course. Her memory for facts isn’t great, so she uses mnemonics and flashcards to help. She’s also an excellent public speaker. She can give a rousing motivational speech, or rally those who have been disheartened.

Olivia is a grappler with excellent control over her balance. She stays in close during a fight, thrashes her opponent, throws them into walls, and then closes again before they can recover. Her foes rarely have room to breathe. She won’t take a hit to give a hit; instead, she’ll throw her coat to distract and annoy her foes, slip out of it, and grab them from the other side.

Destiny’s Raiment is literally Olivia’s clothing, at all times. In another world, one person might be able to pass this clothing to another. Here, Olivia and the Raiment are bound together in one soul. No matter what she wears, it is Destiny’s Raiment. If she takes off her coat, it ceases to be Destiny’s Raiment as it flutters to the ground. If she puts on a hat, the demon has grown. As Olivia fights, the clothing draws insubstantial, thin, white lines to the world around her. At first they’re almost invisible. Eventually they show her connection to all people and all things.

The demon protects Olivia’s fate. If she would be affected by magic that relies on her being within fate or being outside of it, treat her as being in the more beneficial category. Anything that would keep her from achieving her fate, whatever it might be, is deflected or blunted. Most importantly, this makes her almost impossible to kill. She can be wounded, but not fatally. Degata has also nudged her at certain times, pushing her toward Soma, away from Ryota (or perhaps Kettering), and toward any newcomers who might appear in the Academy. Her free will and social skills remain untouched, but circumstances favor (or oppose) her first impressions.

Questions

  • Why are people so wary of Soma?
  • Is Everett ever going to grow up?

Miyu – Catamira, The Broken Hand

Miyu 500

Blood Type: B

Backstory

Miyu is fascinated by things that most people find repellent. Murder, blood, guts, lies, and perversity all get her attention. She’s a fan of both cognitive and musical dissonance. In the classroom, she’s the one dissecting frogs, reading morbid poems, and most definitely wearing black.

She’s also a keen observer. Miyu is rarely involved in the drama that happens at the Academy, but she’s often right at the edge of it, watching it happen with rapt attention. She’ll hang out in the halls after detention, or wander the woods in the park, hoping to catch her classmates doing yet another stupid thing. Her respect for her peers is generally pretty low.

Miyu is also one of the few students who ventures into the rest of the city on a regular basis. She’s not stupid about it – she brings someone else with her, usually Henry or Honoka. (After all, there are wolves there.) Her trips there have sometimes ended up with her waking up back at the Academy in the morning, remembering only some bizarre sunset over an impossible skyline. Most of the students’ memories fade over time, but this memory is beginning to stick with her.

Class Schedule

Senior English (C), Anatomy (A), Advanced Biology (B+), Poetry and Verse (A), Mythology (B), Psychology (B)

Intimacies

Miyu: Miyu and Henry are rivals (major) – at some point one of them started daring the other to do better, and it escalated. She loves it. She hates (major) Olivia, on the other hand, finding her enigmatic manner pretentious and irritating. She’s interested (major) in Everett, and doesn’t realize that he’s using her in the conflict against Soma. If she knew that was happening and realized that he’s trying to pull the same thing with Olivia, she might be angry enough to switch sides.

Catamira: Catamira is allied (major) with Iskonu, the Hound of Destiny, and the two have taught each other some of the deep secrets of their power. She and Zerith, She Without Flaw, are enemies (major). Once they were lovers, and the end of love is rarely clean. However she may plot against Zerith, it is little compared to the intensity of hatred (major) that she feels for Geggath, the Red Mist, who claims that Catamira insults her simply by being.

Capabilities

Miyu does well when she cares, and fails when she doesn’t. Some subjects are natural attractors for her (biology, poetry); others are “boring” and not worth pursuing (math, english). She’s especially not interested in things that everyone else considers important.

Miyu is an untrained but vicious brawler. She’ll grasp and twist, lunge and tear, going for throats and eyes and vitals. She’s excellent at feints and fake-outs. She almost always comes away from a fight injured in some way, having taken a hit in order to close with her foe.

Catamira disconnects causes from effects. Under her influence, undertakings fail to have their intended consequences, or any consequences at all. A sword blow strikes home; no wound is left. An impassioned speech is given; the crowd wanders away in boredom. Imagine her power as a simple reply to any action: “It never happened.”

There are two limitations to Catamira’s power beyond the need for sufficient essence. The first is that it requires her to see the cause – she doesn’t need to be aware of an event’s the original cause, but the chain of causality cannot be obscured from her if she is to break it. The second is that her power is, at its heart, a thing of unpoetic endings rather than beginnings. She cannot cause something to happen, she can only cause it not to happen.

When Miyu is in a fight, her hands begin to bleed without cause. A scratch becomes a gash, which spreads across her hands. Eventually, blood drips constantly from her fingertips, flinging across the battlefield when she strikes. Her fingernails lengthen and sharpen into talons. Her foes hear constant, angry laughter coming from her hands.

Questions

  • Why does everyone act like they can’t figure out who they are?
  • Why do I want Everett so bad?

Mio – Rishimoro, The Queen with the Coral Heart

Mio 500

Blood Type: B

Backstory

Mio is a year older than most of the students at the Academy. She remembers being held back in an earlier grade (which one? It’s unclear…). She resented it at the time, but appreciates it now. It gives her a perspective just slightly more seasoned than that of her peers. Mio knows herself a little better, rushes less, thinks more carefully. She tends to see her fellow students as being impetuous and overly emotional, and if she perhaps corrects too far in the other direction, at least she ends up with less pain and drama. The other students respect her for her maturity… those who notice it.

While she normally plays the observer, Mio is being drawn into events at the Academy. Balancing her relationships with Everett and Abigail takes up a lot of time. (The two of them know about each other. Their relationship is complicated, not a comedy.) Everett is involved in… whatever is happening here… and he’s convinced Mio that Abigail needs to be too. Honestly, he seems to be recruiting an army. He’s trying to mend walls with Henry. He’s talking to Olivia again. Mio can tell that even if nothing’s happening, Everett might be making something happen, which isn’t necessarily good.

She needs more information. And, preferably, everyone needs to calm down just a bit.

Mio is asking questions, but she’s primarily just trying to get everyone to calm down and stop jumping down each other’s throats over something that’s probably not even happening. Everett could stand to slow his recruitment drive. Honoka doesn’t need to be trying to rile people up.  Anna could honestly just stand to shut her drama mouth. If people could just take their causes and ratchet them back a few notches, we could all just get out of school and move on.

Class Schedule

Senior English (A-), Philosophy (B), Poetry and Verse (B+), Anatomy (B), Music Theory (A), Mythology (B+)

Intimacies

Mio: Mio is suspicious (major) of Ryota, wanting to know why he’s hanging out with younger people in the first place and what his real motivation is. She and Henry are unhappy with each other (major). Their previous relationship was already sour when she started dating (major) Everett, but she’s not really expecting that to go anywhere. She’s also dating (major) Abigail, which came out of nowhere and which she’s still trying to figure out. Mio believes in the Middle Path, or as she puts it, don’t go overboard (defining).

Rishimoro: Rishimoro is envious (major) of Lemeth, That Without Pity, for the way in which Lemeth can brush away the cares of others and the needs of the world. She feels scorn (major) for Ameria, She Who Reviled Form, for abandoning her physical body, and is scorned in return for her love of her own. Rishimoro knows that Shotindo, the Wheel of Light, longs for her, and that Mrith, the Unheard Truth, is jealous of her, but feels nothing in return. Her mind is taken up by more important people.

Capabilities

Mio is good at keeping people at a distance (with the exception of Abigail). She hides her feelings well. Her friends know exactly where her boundaries are and how serious she is about them. Despite being held back a year, Mio is no idiot. She applies herself in the classroom, often doing homework at lunchtime so that she can have more time to spend with friends after school.

Mio’s punches are distractions. Her legs are her real weapon. She fights with sweeps, kicks, knees, and unbalancing. Her ideal move is to sweep someone to the ground and knock them out with an axe kick. If caught in a grapple, she’ll use leg locks and quick, short palm-heel strikes to escape. Against someone with a weapon she’ll use quick footwork to fight toward their weak side, taking advantage of them when they turn to strike her.

Rishimoro makes Mio beloved. It is difficult to gather the will to strike her in battle, and harder still to finish her off when given the opportunity. As she fights more, the world around her grows warmer, more welcoming, more loving. Mio’s rib-cracking side kicks are accompanied by a paradoxical feeling of homecoming. At its strongest, this feeling visually limns Mio with a flickering pink aura.

Greater benefits come when Rishimoro acts outside of a battle. It is difficult to act with anything but love or respect toward Mio. This is not always positive, as she also attracts envy, suspicion, and resentment – love can sometimes manifest in painful ways, and even respect can be wary. The upshot is that while people can feel however they want about Mio, they can’t ignore her. Her words strike home. There is always something compelling in even the worst of her ideas.

Questions

  • Why can’t people just let go of this drama?
  • Where am I going after I graduate? Why can’t anyone answer that question?

Mei – Geggath, The Red Mist

Mei 500

Blood Type: AB

Backstory

Mei and Everett are two sides of the school’s heart. He’s the charismatic, vocal face of the student body. She’s the hard-working negotiator who stays out of the limelight. If the Accursed Academy had student offices, Everett would be class president and Mei would be running the newspaper. He is the light, and she is the shadow.

The two of them met in a dojo, long ago, before Everett moved here. (Where was this? Mei doesn’t remember, and she’s confused by that.) They’ve been equally matched since childhood, and gained respect for one another as sparring partners. He comes to her for advice on people he doesn’t understand; she feeds him information and gives him a direction and a drive that he doesn’t really have on his own.

Like many others in the Academy, Mei knows that something is happening. She feels it in her gut. Every time she comes out of a classroom feeling like she learned nothing, or comes out of a shop with something she didn’t really want. Every time she talks to a random classmate and comes out thinking that they barely said anything at all. Something here is seriously wrong…

…it has to be the teachers. They’re the ones with the real power here. Every one of them acts like they have something to hide. Her sensei Ryota might be on her side, but she doesn’t completely trust him either. It’s time to find out what’s really going on.

Class Schedule

Senior English (A), Psychology (A-), Calculus (A), Intro to Government (B+), Ancient Languages (B+), Advanced Chemistry (B)

Intimacies

Mei: Mei and Honoka have long been friends (major), since the two of them spent detention together in 4th grade. Not long after she met Ryota, who took her in as her honored sensei (major) and trained her in the art of the sword. Mei is now taking on the role of teacher herself, and is training (major) Declan in swordplay. She hates (major) Rui for being a coward and not living up to what he could be. Mei is suspicious (major) of Anna for her connection with Rui, and because she thinks Anna has something up her sleeve. Finally, her comrade (major) Everett has earned her respect as a warrior, but she worries about his relationships with others. Mei believes in getting to the bottom of things (defining).

Geggath: Geggath hates (major) Catamira, the Broken Hand, for encroaching on her conceptual territory with her blood-red hands of murder. However, she is fascinated (major) with Yondan, the Flame Without Fuel, for much the same reason – Yondan’s red flame somehow captures Geggath’s obsession without repelling her as Catamira does.

Capabilities

Mei is an excellent student, diligent and self-aware. She’s particularly good at seeing the connections between things, whether metaphorical or mathematical. She knows her strengths and moves to shore up her weaknesses. She can work as the center of her friend network and an influential student and keep her grades up only because she knows herself well. She’s comfortable delegating and asking for help. If only the people around her were more reliable…

In battle, Mei is not an athletic fighter. She locks eyes with her opponent, parries with small motions, and cuts for the wrist early. She fights with the black blade called Collapse, which drinks the force of blows directed at it and yields nothing in return. Those who strike at her find their momentum sapped.

The Red Mist conceals violence and brings terror. When Mei fights, each strike releases just a bit more of the mist into the air. Eventually, Mei’s enemies are blinded by the red spray. If they fought her long enough, they would begin to choke on it. Mei, of course, is unaffected, allowing her to strike with deadly precision. Unlike many of her classmates, Mei is well aware of the effects that arise when she fights, and takes full advantage of them.

Outside of battle, Geggath grants Mei an instinctive sense of the strength of potential opponents. To the Red Mist, all who live are potential opponents. She can sense essence flows and charm usage as if they were water rushing past her body. If there were more places of power in the Contorted Blocks she might be able to sense that as well, but there are no manses here. She knows when she’s outmatched. She can tell who has potential and who doesn’t. Unlike her fellow students, she won’t spend any time trying to recruit the faceless nonentities that are the majority of her classmates – she’ll go straight for the important people.

Questions

  • How can I uncover this conspiracy without looking like I’m going crazy?
  • Are they turning us students against one another, or is that just us?