TS25: School Leadership
It had been a long day. As Jove walked through the halls with Tan and Chris, he expressed his continued amazement at how Atlantis worked. “Someone attempted to get Aden to kill me today, and all Azarias said was that he would look into it with South. He also just accepted that it wasn’t Aden’s fault. How do you stop people from suing each other back to the stone age?”
Tan laughed, then forced himself to be serious. “We don’t have many lawyers here. Atlantis is based on taking personal responsibility, and as a meritocracy those in power earn their place through study. This is a harsh world, and you have to be your own defense. We learn that early here. While your friends and society will do what we can to protect you, ultimately you have to be strong enough to defend yourself.” He smiled again, “Besides, magic can tell if you’re lying, so we don’t really need lawyers to sort out things like truth. Magus Azarias could also have looked at what happened. Divination can see into the past.”
“But what about the police?” Jove got a puzzled look from Tan. He clarified, “Law enforcement.”
“Oh,” Tan said, “The school is basically it’s own power structure. Like a nation-state within Atlantis. South, Azarias, the teachers, they are law enforcement. South used to work directly for the Animus Council, but they only get involved if the danger involves more than one kingdom.”
“A holdover from when rule was by the strongest Venator.” Tan shrugged, “Powerful mages still have a lot of authority, but the council keeps them in check. It’s a simple system.”
Jove objected, “But there’s people trying to kill me.”
Chris interrupted, “They haven’t tried to kill you yet.”
Jove flinched. He’d gotten used to trusting Chris’ judgement, but if what he said was true, then the past encounters had been a test. The Vorax didn’t just want his abilities; they were afraid of them. Jove coughed and changed the subject, “So, what game systems do mages play?”
“You’d be surprised how many games of Mage you’ll see. Amber, Hero, Dresden. Feng Shui.” Tan said, “I think we tend to enjoy games with unusual premises and ones that can spark imagination and thoughts. You’d be surprised how many ideas role-playing can give you for actual spells.”
The three of them entered into the medium sized conference room where the Alternate Reality Codex club was being held. A number of students waved as they entered with most of the students chatting in small groups. A few of them had board games or card games out. The center of one group, a large female walrus in green robes, walked over to greet them.
“Hello, are you here for ARC?” She smiled warmly, two oversized teeth hanging over her lower lip.
Jove nodded, “Yes, I wasn’t sure if it ran over the summer, but Tan was insistent that it would.”
She laughed. “Of course we do, silly. And you get a lot of smaller or unusual games, since our attendance is a little low these few months. A lot of the regular games go on hiatus. So, are you here to run or play?”
“I didn’t even think about that.” Jove said, “I wasn’t sure what would be going on.”
“Well, I’m Carole; one r, one l, with an e at the end.” She shook his hand. She turned back to the group behind her, “Myat, can you see why he’s here.”
In response a round, dimpled and glowing golf-ball floated over to Carole. “This is Myat, she’s the head hob here. Apparently, the seelie fey in this world really like gamers. If you hold her, she’ll change to the color of the game you should join.”
Stunned, Jove reached out. He mumbled the only thing he could think of, “I haven’t seen a hundred sized die in years.”
Carole explained, “Yeah, the hobs here act as dice for us. It prevents people from cheating.” She paused, “You’re one of the otherworlders. Is she the first fairy you’ve seen?”
“Yes.” Jove’s fingers closed around the small fey. There was a sensation of warmth and Myat changed to a translucent die, only the white and black numbers were visible between the vague outline of the edges. Jove looked at the fey, “What does that mean?”
Carole blinked. “They normally assume the color of the element of the game master. I’ve never seen clear before.”
Jove blushed, “I don’t have a main element.”
Carole looked at Jove. “Wait, I heard there was a null attending the school. Is that you?”
“I’m Jove. I’ve been going with selective null.”
She nodded, “That’s cool. Most of us don’t judge. Especially those of us who’ve had grandparents burn their gaming books because they were satanic.”
Tan asked, “So, Jove. What are you going to run?”
The fox blushed again, feeling a lump in his throat. He’d occasionally thought of running a game before, of being in charge. Yet, he never had enough friends to make that possible, and none of his friends from back home were interested in gaming. Jove swallowed, “I had an idea for Lucid. The HDL world…”
Carole nodded, “That’s a rare one. If I wasn’t running a Mage game, I’d check it out.”
Jove shyly offered Myat to Tan. The die stayed clear with alternating black and white numbers for Tan, and for Chris when she was handed to the wolf.
“It was nice to meet you Jove.” Carole said, “Please, talk a little bit, we usually don’t start the games until 8 anyway.”
The three friends walked over to one of the empty tables to put their books down.
“Jove!” The shout caused the fox to jump. It was Julius. The bear stormed over to Jove and showed him a die that was translucent. “You’re running Lucid.”
Jove wasn’t sure if that was a question, a statement or a demand, so he just nodded. “I was thinking I might. Myat thought I was a game master, and I didn’t have any other ideas.”
Julius looked at Jove, then sighed. “Can I join your game?”
Stunned, Jove nodded, “If you’re okay with me running it.”
“I guess. I shouldn’t have gotten so angry at you for stopping Dion.” Julius flattened his ears to his head, “I’m still a little concerned you’re a null. But, that shouldn’t make a difference in your ability to run a game.”
Something clicked, perhaps Julius was too upset about what happened. He looked at the bear, but wasn’t able to will his senses to find magic. Jove definitely needed to practice. Knowing if Julius was affected by such a spell before, or even now, would be a great help.
“Hey Jove,” Aden waved as he ran up to the table. “Good to see you’re starting up a game. My hob turned clear, so they think I should be here.”
“I wonder how accurate they are.” Jove shrugged, “Let me double check that I don’t need to have any special character rules, then we can make characters.” Jove made a note to try to examine Julius another time. Unknown to him at that time, the same note appeared on a to-do list in Aether.TS24: Telling Blow || TS26: Same Coin >>