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Darshendros the Eternal

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    Malachar Vilatoir
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  1. Transferred to Balmung (finally!) where I'll be restarting my whole search for duskwight kin journey that I began on Mateus (with some updates/changes), so if anyone's got a dusky that isn't an Ishgardian, let me find you, or come find me. I'll be hopping around Eorzea doing ... stuff.
  2. RP is always a learning process. I went through a very similar process in my growth as a roleplayer. I definitely agree that playing tabletop helped to improve it and I always recommend trying it out to anyone looking for ways they can be a better RP'er. Keep up the good work, and don't be afraid to revisit that bad character sometime in the future to reshape it into something better with what you've learned. Unless you've killed them off already lol.
  3. Malachar has returned from his ... thing from wherever he was when last we saw him! (How long has it been even?) As the title says, I'm seeking new potential RP contacts and mostly putting the word out if anyone sees me out and about and wants to approach me for random RP. I'm trying to stay out of cities (*cough* Ul'dah *cough*) unless there's some important IC reason to be there (thinking of maybe doing something involving a possible migration to Ishgard with that whole restoration thing going on but I'm undecided), so if you spot me outside somewhere (unless it's the First cuz lolno) and I'm not doing anything, feel free to distract. Alternatively, you can also whisper me and we can figure out something. I'm still mostly out at night, mostly. Bonus points if you're also a duskwight. Shady/antagonistic characters are also a plus. View the carrd for more info! (which I should probably update?) P.S. If you RP'ed with me a lot when I was last around, please remind me wtf was I last doing cuz I have completely forgotten lol
  4. Hello. Hi. Yes. I seek RP with all duskwights. Oh, you found me on discord already. This is Malachar.
  5. That's what RP Hooks are for. Unless you're taking a NPC's name (which is highly discouraged, but you do you), you can't expect anything. Just throw in that RP Hook for any other PC's of similar background to look at and mention in passing or talk OOC with other people with a similar background to set up whether or not they would have heard of you. Alternatively - this is easier to pull off, in my opinion - the army you were involved with or commanded no longer exists, probably wiped out by the Empire or some other conflict, and you're one of the only survivors left scattered in the wind. No one's heard of you because everyone who has is dead. Alternative #2: I did those for SWTOR. Insert yourself into recorded battles, but your role was only minor and thus not focused on except for your personal account, because history usually only focuses on the Big Brand Names and not so much on every single person under their command. Unless they did some heroic shit and sacrificed their life for it.
  6. A Sorcerer Reborn Five years since the Calamity. Five years since my life was upended and my home was destroyed. Five years of fighting and running and surviving in the dark, labyrinthine tunnels beneath the Black Shroud. Somehow, I had made it out alive. Barely. An old hyuran hermit woman named Tania found me in the Twelveswood and thought me dead at first, but then brought me back to her cabin after realizing there was still life left in me. She said I had been asleep for nearly a week while she nursed me back to health, but with the huge gap of time lost in my memories, it felt much longer. I couldn't trust anything, least of all a hyuran. As I recovered my strength, I feigned amnesia to account for my confused and curious stares outside her window. I wasn't about to tell her where I came from nor my life story. Tania told me about all that had been happening in Eorzea that she had witnessed or heard about, from the Garlemald Empire's aggression to the aftermath of the Calamity and the chaos that followed. It sounded like she had been an adventurer of some sort before becoming a hermit, but she denied being anything of the sort. She was just an old woman who knew which herbs healed what wounds and ailments. She had tried training as a conjurer once, but it turned out that magic wasn't her calling. She dropped out of the guild and became a botanist instead, from which she learned about the healing properties of herbs. I found that story hard to believe when I realized what it was that she wore around her neck as a pendant. When I asked her about it, Tania stated that it was simply an old family heirloom that had been passed on for generations. I couldn't tell if she was ignorant of its nature and couldn't sense it, or was lying to my face to avoid unwanted scrutiny. The most magic I had seen her use was a basic Cure spell though, and even that exhausted her, so perhaps it was the former. Perhaps the soul crystal simply did not call out to her or found her unworthy of its power. Whatever the case, I planned to take it before leaving the cabin. She didn't deserve such a treasure. She didn't even know what it truly was. After a couple days, I was back on my feet. Tania asked me what my plans were, but before I could come up with a lie, she began suggesting going to Gridania and how great Gridania was and its people. There are no words to describe the flash of anger that went through me, so pure was the feeling. I told her I would rather see Gridania burn and set her entire cabin on fire. She was distraught, panicking, crying, asking why would I set her home on fire after she saved my life. I told her, "I am Malachar Vilatoir, last son of Balmorra, descended from the last Gelmorrans before Gridania betrayed them and drove them from their homes, and I will see them burn for it." She tried to flee, but I grabbed her and threw her against the cot I had been laying in for the past tenday, snatching the pendant from around her neck. The ceiling collapsed as I walked out of the burning cabin, flaming debris silencing her screams. That was when I began to wonder if I had made a mistake. I was in the Twelveswood, the Black Shroud, for the first time in my life. In hindsight, I realized I should have gotten some directions first, as I was completely lost and out of my element. I also just spent the last five years lost in underground tunnels, most of them in complete darkness, but found my way out of that, even if I couldn't remember how. Finding my way through a forest shouldn't be that hard. Right? The Black Shroud is a godsdamn maze. I wandered for several nights, staying close to the shadows and taking shelter from the blinding sun during the day. Other than a few watchtowers - which I avoided - I saw little signs of civilization until I came upon a fallen tree that led down into a valley and a village with chocobo stables and a field of gysahl greens. I stayed on the outskirts until I saw a patrol leave, silently following them until coming upon the yellow gates to Gridania. I beheld from a higher vantage point the splendor and beauty of the city-state of Gridania, all of it lies. Even their crest was a lie, a bastardized symbol of Gelmorra. How dare they. Unfortunately, I needed to know about this new world I now lived in to survive, and my need to know more only intensified. At the very least, I needed a map and a change of clothes. Even though Tania had graciously washed my tattered rags while I was unconscious, they still looked like rags, and the weathered hooded cloak I wore only made me look even more suspicious. Reluctantly, I entered the city on the following sunset, and the guards eyed me with suspicion at every step. It wasn't because I looked like a street urchin who had rolled through a bramble bush; it was because my skin was a darker shade of grey than a typical duskwight.
  7. I've only RP'ed on Mateus, so I'll leave that for someone else to answer.
  8. They're in the same data center, so you can pick one and still go to the other whenever you want, but what you really want is Mateus.
  9. An endless, impossibly large dungeon housed inside a standard castle, filled with traps, pit falls, monsters, and dead ends, multiple floors, trapped forever. You can't die. You just start again. Eventually, you'll make it to the end or go mad trying. Basically, Dragon's Lair at max difficulty on an endless loop. Also, Hell.
  10. Is it, though? I know it's not alluded to in the MSQ, but I find it highly unlikely that there wouldn't be any magic users in Othard, especially since the Dotharl's chief clearly uses black magic (and Doma is roughly based on Japan).
  11. You can actually play as a white mage, but it's common practice to not announce it to the world, white magic being "forbidden" and all. How you became one is a more important factor, which can be easy to navigate around given the amount of lore surrounding WHM/BLM, as mentioned above. Or you could just not be from Eorzea.
  12. 2.0 The Seventh Umbral Calamity took everything from me. I don't see how it could have been foreseen by anyone. If someone did, they kept it to themselves at the cost of everyone for reasons unknown. The survivors, myself included, spent several days searching and digging out anyone alive that we could find before hope was lost and danger was growing. With the aether still fluctuating, magic was unsafe to use. Wounds had to be mended the mundane way as best as possible. To make matters worse, the earth was still rumbling and the cavern was unstable, threatening to collapse further. We needed to flee else we share the fate of those we lost, and the only direction we could go was up - to the surface world that had forsaken us; the surface world that was as broken as our home. There were only a handful of us remaining, strangers all to me before that day. Members or servants of low noble houses, likely, but that didn't matter anymore. We were all equal now: survivors. Gathering and salvaging what supplies and weapons we could find, we set off to find any tunnels that hadn't collapsed as soon as everyone was able to walk freely, praying to the Twelve that they weren't filled with monsters. Those prayers went unanswered. The smell of blood was thick in the air and they were hungry for elezen flesh. They set upon us on the second day of our exodus, hordes of vilekin and other monstrosities only found that deep in the earth. We were going to be fighting for every yalm of ground to the surface. They weren't easy in our battered and weak state, constantly running when we weren't fighting, making camp and resting for short periods of time when we were able. Every battle cost us. If it wasn't monsters killing us off, it was hunger and despair. It must have been a year after the Calamity when the aether began to stabilize and magic was safe to use again, granting us a huge advantage that we didn't have in the year prior. Honestly, with all the fighting and running we had been doing, I had lost track of time. By then, only five of us remained. Unfortunately, none of us were a white mage to provide us the succor we were going to need, so my conjuring abilities were going to have to be enough to suffice. Thus, I was elected to be leader of the group, especially after they discovered who I was and my abilities, despite my protests of not wanting the position. I thought the position better suited for Aufort Dratuneux, a house knight barely out of the Proving Grounds and likely more experienced in combat than I. Traditions are hard to dismiss though, especially when you discover one among your group is the last surviving member of a ruling house, making me the heir apparent ruler of our people. All five of us. Reluctantly, I took the leadership role, but Aufort would be the one leading us through the dark. Doxine Zaimeux and Praffont Sejois were hunters, armed with spear and daggers, respectively, and had some familiarity with the tunnels outside of the city. Had being the key word. The Calamity had since warped the layout of the tunnels and they were now as lost as the rest of us, but at least they knew how to kill monsters. Rounding out our ragtag group of survivors was a young thaumaturge by the name of Laufitte Faijier. She hadn't even finished the academy yet. She stuck close to my side and I taught her what spells I could when we weren't running from monsters. The supplies we left with were diminished and we had to live off what we could find in the tunnels. We got lost often and had to learn how to move quietly to avoid drawing attention to ourselves. We honed our skills in combat whenever we did. Danger was all around us at all times. There was no time to stop and get to know each other, just to survive and rely on our instincts. We knew nothing about each other besides our names, but we learned to fight together efficiently. For a time, it seemed like everything was going to be alright, that we were finally safe. Nothing is safe. We had made camp in the ruins of a chamber abandoned ages ago, a relic of Gelmorra that had collapsed on one side, cutting it off from whatever else it was connected to, what use it served long since forgotten. It was dimly lit by lichen and crystals and had only one entryway, making it an ideal place to camp without having to worry about creatures coming at us from all sides. The ground collapsed as soon as we had settled in, dropping us into another chamber below it with no exits. It was a trap. The space above us filled with bursts of darkness as voidsent creatures spawned and fell upon us. I erected a barrier around us while Aufort, Doxine, and Praffont cut down the imps and demons swarming around us, but floating above us were also a pair of succubi, whose spells wore down my barrier with each strike. As soon as it fell, Laufitte and I went into more spellcasting, hurling fire and lightning magic at the succubi, bringing them down. Aufort cried out in pain as a demon slipped under his guard and raked him across his right flank with a claw, tearing right through his armor. Something slithered out of the shadows and snatched Laufitte's ankle, jerking her off her feet and pulling her into the darkness. I had to stop casting a healing spell to run and grab her hand, pulling back against the thing trying to take her. More screams. My friends were being killed, but I wasn't going to let go of her hand. Suddenly, I felt something wrap around my waist and pull me away, breaking my hold. More tendrils came out of the darkness, binding my arms and legs, forcing me to my knees. Aufort, Doxine, and Praffont were laying on the ground in pools of their own blood. A creature appeared before me that I had never seen before, but I recognized it from a description in a tome I read from the Archmage's library. Thin body, long robes, four clawed fingers, and a squid-like face with tentacles. A mindflayer. My eyes began to go hazy and I could feel something in my mind, probing my thoughts. I heard a voice suddenly, in my thoughts, but it didn't feel like they were coming from the flayer. Awaken... Everything went black. I woke up on a cot, laying inside of what looked like someone's home. A cabin in the woods, a warm fire burning in the hearth, the smell of something cooking. Was I on the surface? How did I get here? I realized I had lost time. How much time, I did not know. My body ached all over and felt weak. Where am I? Where is everyone else? Then I remembered. They were dead, killed by the voidsent. But then, how did I survive? I heard someone coming to the door and closed my eyes, thinking to feign sleep until I could ambush whoever was coming and get some answers, only to actually fall back asleep.
  13. 1.2 To be an apprentice of Archmage Ulleanne de Bahaut was an extremely entitled and rare honor as she rarely accepted new apprentices. It was also a likely death sentence, as none of her previous apprentices survived their tenure. There were rumors whispered in shadowy corners - none would dare speak them aloud - of the Archmage murdering her apprentices because they proved too wanting or weak, or out of jealousy because their potential threatened her position, sending them on suicidal missions or hiring assassins to eliminate them before they could usurp her. Some whispers even claimed she cannibalized her apprentices and consumed their aether, or they died after being subjected to strange aetheric experiments. These were only rumors though. The truth was Archmage Ulleanne de Bahaut was a cruel, cold-hearted bitch, who demanded much from her apprentices. Perhaps too much. I never asked about what happened to her previous apprentices and she never talked about it. She didn't really talk much in general, other than to order me around. On my first day as her apprentice, I was treated more like a house slave servant than an apprentice, cleaning her study, library, and laboratory, not allowed to rest until it everything was spotless; if there was one speck of dust, I had to start over. Worse, I was forbidden from using any magic to assist me. The next day, I had to do it all again. And again, and again. In the meanwhile, I also had to continue my studies and stay focused because she enjoyed springing surprise quizzes upon me in the midst of my cleaning duties. It wasn't until the next moon that Archmage Ulleanne began to actually train me. Finally, I would have the chance to prove myself. "What do you seek from magic?" Archmage Ulleanne asked me once. At the time, I didn't truly know, but I naively answered, "To gain the power to avenge our ancestors." It was what we were taught to believe in, that one day we would return to the surface, crush Gridania and the Elementals, and reclaim Gelmorra, taking back what was rightfully ours. The army had even sent scouting missions to the surface on occasion, but whatever intelligence they gathered was for the ruling council's eyes only. Archmage Ulleanne set me to work based on that answer, having me pore over the tomes in her library, some of which dated back to Fifth Astral Era. I was drilled constantly on reciting and practicing spells and rituals; thrown into trials of combat against golems, creatures that wandered the tunnels outside of the city, and occasionally Voidspawn; and at the end of the day, I still had to clean. It was stressful and exhausting and pushed me to my limits, and I loved every minute of it, even if it made me want to kill myself to get away from the pain. I wonder if that's what happened to her previous apprentices. The worst part was, this wasn't even half of everything she wanted to teach me, despite the years I had spent as her apprentice at this point. Unfortunately for me, she never would. During a venture into the tunnels outside of the city to gather some ingredients for the Archmage, I first noticed something wrong with the aether, but I couldn't explain specifically what. Creatures that were usually docile were suddenly acting berserk, even charging at me, but I fended them off easily with my magic as I retreated back to the city to report my findings. Archmage Ulleanne had also been noticing a disturbance in the aether, but she knew not the cause. Magic was working erratically. Simple spells were either fizzling out or becoming overloaded with aether, sometimes exploding in a mage's face. A day later, an alarm rung out through the city. A horde of monsters were attacking one of the gates, something that hasn't happened in decades - they knew better than to get close. They were eliminated swiftly by the city guards, but it wouldn't be the last time it happened. Even the aetherite crystal in the center of the city was being affected, glowing brighter, painfully so. Concerned with the growing unrest of the creatures living in the tunnels outside of the city and the instability in the aether, the ruling council ordered a scouting party to the surface to investigate what was going on above them. Surely, Gridania had something to do with this. They would never make it. A few days later, the cavern collapsed as a piece of Dalamud sundered the earth. Balmorra was destroyed in an instant, despite the enchantments and protections placed around the cavern to prevent any collapse. Having the moon falling down was never taken into account. I don't know how I survived, but when I regained consciousness, I found myself at the edge of the city, bloody and aching all over. Balmorra was buried under tons of burning rock and a colossal glowing shard. Dust and smoke clogged the air, and above me, a gaping hole to the night sky above, streaked with flames. Cries for help came from the city. Other people had somehow survived. From the tunnels around the city came more cries, but these were more feral. The monsters had also survived.
  14. 1.1 I stayed at the Academy for ten years, learning many more lessons in that time. I also discovered that I was not only proficient with thaumaturgy magic, but conjuring as well. It's a rare occurrence but not the first time it's happened. In fact, the Archmage of Balmorra at that time was also gifted with a talent to cast spells of both black and white magic. I studied both arts, doubling my work load and giving me little time, if any, to have a social life - not that I cared about having a social life. Being a highborn noble with a father teaching at the Academy afforded me more privileges than most, including a private dorm room all to myself. The only time I socialized with other mages was in class, and that's how I preferred it. Nothing mattered more than delving into the mysteries of aetherial studies and unlocking new spells, new powers. Inevitably, I would have to make a choice when it came time to choose my soul crystal, but that wouldn't happen for a while yet. In the meantime, I would learn as much as I can. On the second-to-last year at the Academy, as is tradition, we had an exchange program with The Proving Ground and spent the first half of the year learning martial skills and defensive techniques. It was hardly enough time to become an expert in the field, but it was enough to learn how to defend ourselves should our enemies happen to close the distance before our spells could finish them and not be completely vulnerable and punched in the face, or worse. Along with staff and spear, which were pretty interchangeable, I took a liking to the blade and learned some finer points of swordplay. It was common for nobles to walk around with a sword on their hip, so I might as well learn how to properly use one. After the exchange ended and we returned to the Academy, all we had left to do was study and prepare for the final trial, simply called "The Test", which were a series of challenges to prove a mage's aptitude in spellcasting and survival. Success meant you graduated from the Academy. Failure often resulted in death. Each mage's trial was different to prevent any cheating, custom tailored to address their strengths and attack their weaknesses. They were held in a magical chamber in the deepest sub-level of the Academy where none were allowed except to the Archmage of Balmorra, the headmasters, and those taking the trial. I never found out what kind of enchantments empowered it - I don't think anyone knew except perhaps the Archmage - but they were powerful and somehow altered the reality of the space within, its illusions as real as anything on the outside and just as deadly. At least, that's what I thought it would be like when I went inside. I found m̮͙̎̓̇͟y̺̝̠͎̬͖̌̅ͫͮ͆͐̉͘s̼̟ͤ͐͡e̞̦̲͚̬̮͎͆̏̿́l̷͍͚͈͚͙͕ͥ͑̒f̱̪̹̤̦͂͌ͩ́ î̡̥͉̥̝͎͉̹̓̎ͧ̃̎́ͅn̼̰̲͐ͬ͊̋̚ ̟̹̺̘͙̃ͫͥ̔͂͒͂̉͢a̶̝̮͗͒̊̓̑͒ͨͥn͙͉ͧͧ̕ ͦ̓͑̈̔͑͏̮̝̲̙̱̱͓͓͞o̠͈̓ͨ̄͝p̢̤͖̲̟̞̦̬̗ͧͧ͒̾̃̑͡ę̴̝̣͉̺͇̞͙͉ͮͨ̏ͦͬ̉ͦ̓͟n̶̻̟̝͕̺̱͚͌͡ ̞̻̭̼͉̦̒̍̀ͯͪͬ̊ͬͅf̮̜̬̾ͦ̇ͦ̉ͭ͠͞i̴̖̠̖̜̰̅͡e̟͔͑͆͒͂̅ͤ̎͝ļ̶̻̬͚̆̓͒͌̈̀̆̓́d̫̙̟̥̈͒̃͋̌ͧ̔͊͊͡.̢̩̘̍͛̓̑̍̕ ̵̟̞͇̞̊̈́ͩͯͨ́͑ͮ͞.̱͍̭̩̽ͩ̂̎̾ͩ͝͞.̨̲̬͍̅̐̒̕ ̥̻̦̳̦̏͆ͮ̏̓̄̐͜͡.̸̭̲̱̭̋͛ ̸͈͕̣̳͎̦ͮͯͯ̂̉̅͞.͓͈̭͉ͫ̃͛͂ͭ͌͘\ͤ̆̓ͥ̔ͩ̋̌ͣ͟҉̨̬ ̄ͣ͗҉̻̪̣̰̲,̋̋̉̑̑̋͒͆͏͟҉̞̗̖ ̸̗͖̘͉̼ͦ̂̊ͧ̂\̡̻̰̦̭̭͈̝̪̗̓ͫͫ́\̸͔̖͈̫̬̹̫̌̑͞/̺̞̠͍̝̳̣̇͘͢]̡̘͔͚͉ͭ̋̓ͫ́ͪ͜͡ ̴͉̘͓̜̞̖̩͒ͪ̈̆͡ͅD̦̮̩̭̼̗̟̐̍ͮ̓ͬ͘ͅ After graduating from the Academy, aspiring mages typically began their apprenticeship period. I apprenticed under House Vilatoir's House Mage, Vairemont de Vilatoir, a black mage and also my uncle on mother's side, for the next several years. I had begun focusing more on black magic as it suited my style more. To the uninitiated and uncultured, black magic is all explosions and horror stories from the War of the Magi, but it is so much more than casting bigger fireballs. It's power. Raw power that comes from within, not drawn from your surroundings or borrowed from an object or focus. That power can be used to destroy, but also to create and everything in between. The folly of the black mages during the War of the Magi was that they abused that power (so did the white mages), but they also achieved great things with that power, secrets swept away in the tides of time that I fully intended to find and uncover, refine and perfect. I was going to become the greatest black mage Hydaelyn would ever know, rivaling even the legendary Shatotto. My uncle recognized my ambition and saw the potential I had to achieve them. Thankfully, he shared my thirst for knowledge about aetherial secrets. Rather than try to hold me back, he allowed me to assist him with his own research, and he soon realized that I would surpass him before he could teach me all I needed to know. I needed a more powerful, more knowledgeable master. Thus, a few short years after entering my apprenticeship under Vairemont de Vilatoir, it was ended and, after receiving a formal letter of introduction from my uncle, I became apprentice to the Archmage of Balmorra, Ulleanne de Bahaut of House Bahaut, First House of Balmorra, daughter of Matron Vizelle de Bahaut.
  15. 1.0 My first clear memory of life was not the faces of my parents, but of the giant aetherite crystal that cast a perpetual, pale blue-violet glow over the city, like moonlight on the surface on a clear night. It hung from a natural rock formation on the ceiling of the cavern, hanging over Balmorra like a great, crystal chandelier, its lowest tip nearly touching the ground below it. That was where life for Balmorra first began, centuries ago. The first structures that the refugees from Gelmorra built to start a new life were located here. Now it was simply called "Old Town", for the city's growth had since expanded over the centuries since its founding to the walls and even the ceiling of the cavern, building in and around its natural rock formations, stalactites and stalagmites, with sweeping archways and bridges connecting them, lit by magical displays of blue and purple faerie fire. The cavern itself was only seven malms across at its widest point, so there was only room for so much growth before hitting a literal wall, but somehow they made it all fit without it feeling too crowded. The noble houses were spread around the city where the rock formations were larger or more concentrated, building their homes among them. House Vilatoir was no exception, being one of the most impressive and enviable structures in the city. House Vilatoir was renowned for its magic-users and knowledge of all things related to aether. This includes Black and White Magic, teachings that had been forbidden and all but forgotten on the surface world. Thankfully, not everyone followed those rules. Mother and father were descended from Amdaporan mages that survived the War of the Magi and the Calamity and had settled in Gelmorra during the Sixth Umbral Era; one a White Mage that refused to give up their gift, the other a member of a secret society of Black Mages, both passing on their teachings in secret while living in Gelmorra, fearing that one day it would be needed to combat the Elementals or some other enemy. Being betrayed by their neighbors probably never crossed their mind. After Balmorra was founded and they revealed themselves, it was decided that Black and White Magic would be practiced and taught in open with some moderation so as not to attract unwanted attention, and it was made forbidden to use said magics against another Balmorran to prevent another War of the Magi breaking out. An academy was created to pass along the teachings of both arts. Typically, a child isn't enrolled into either of the academies - the Academy of Magi for mages and the Proving Grounds for fighters - until they were at least into their tenth summer. My older siblings and I all attended the academy where my father instructed and where mostly all of our family graduated from at some point. Vilatoir and magic went hand-in-hand, with a few rare exceptions that chose to follow a more martial path than magical. Every family has its black sheep. My sister, Yvonnelle, had just started at the academy when my ability to manipulate aether first manifested. I was only six, too young to attend the academy, so when mother and father weren't taking time out of their busy days to teach me, I was following Yvonnelle around the house and asking her about her studies. Suffice it to say, by the time I was old enough to begin at the academy, I was already aware of what to expect. The formative years at the Academy of Magi were dedicated to learning the history of our heritage, particularly of how Gelmorra was formed and Gridania's betrayal; the nature of aether, the lifestream and Hydaelyn, and the War of the Magi that led us all to where we were at that point in time. Children living on the surface would likely find such subjects boring, but in a society where status meant everything from the day you are born until your inevitable death, as students we strived to always be at the top of the class in any subject matter. It didn't just make you look good, but also your House; and if you're a member of a ruling noble house, that meant you needed to be the best. That also meant that your fellow students usually weren't your friends. They were your rivals. This fact becomes even more evident once you complete your foundation studies a couple of summers later and move into the dormitories at the academy to begin your aetherial studies and learning your first spells. To call the academy dormitories a pit of vipers is an understatement. As a son of a ruling noble house, a target is painted on your back as soon as you leave the safety of your home and move into the dorms. Everyone is plotting against you, either to earn your friendship to curry favor or gain some status due to your prestige, or finding ways to sabotage your work to make you look incompetent and thus make your House look bad and them and their's look better, or trying to outright bully you. This was all learned in hindsight unfortunately. I wasn't prepared for any of these hard lessons when I began residing at the academy. The first lesson I would learn is: trust no one that isn't a member of your House.
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