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 No.761208[View All]

Did you get registered for all the classes you need? I sure hope you did! Anno Classroom is up next, only on mlpg.
336 posts and 6 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


When the history professor starts to elaborate about the missing student, something most peculiar happens.

>"[…] […] […] of […]. […] and […] […] […] [………………………………………]."

Prior to this, Grutar, partly immersed in the illusion of the school as he was, understood not the literal words the professor spoke, but the gist of what he was saying. But now… not a bit of it made any sense. It was pure white noise, akin to the sweeping of a broom, the scrubbing of a dish, the rubbing of an eraser… white noise that cleared away any semblance of meaning beneath. And yet, as with any method of cleaning, there was but a trace below.

Herb's team tenses as Zamrud turns down the notion of helping them cheat. An awkward silence falls down, until Origami speaks up.

"…He did," Origami says. "It's weird, though. Here."

He shows you a notebook, plain and unadorned. What stands out the most about it is that there are but three pages inside. At first one might imagine the other pages ripped out. However, then Origami opens it, it appears that the notebook only had three pages to begin with. The binding is undamaged, and there is no sign of pages being removed, however carefully. Obviously, however, none would buy a notebook that only had three sheets inside.

"Actually there weren't any pages in it at all, at first," Origami says. "These ones just kinda… appeared not long ago."


He makes a good point. The books of this place hold information that may be useful if you look past the layer of lies this place makes.

He glanced at Qhapaq and his companion for a moment before looking back "That being said I recommend we pull all relevant info while trying to shatter the illusion of this place.


"Perhaps the illusion is rewarding us? Or perhaps someone outside is."


"There was a bit about how since one of us is a teacher, we should be able to understand the material better with help." Billy offers.
"Kind of strikes me like a grimoire, maybe there are more pages there we can't see, or that they come from somewhere?" Billy gives a thought up.


Grutar found it odd but began to once again excuse it with his old age taking over. But whether he remembered or not, he attempted to follow whatever clue he was given and still remains immersed in his surroundings enough to let it guide him rather than guiding himself.

>Use full immersion to guide Grutar to where he would next be needed. After all, he has to help with this year's prank! (rolling if needed)


Roll #1 9 = 9


"Hmm… I see. Bizarre, but it makes sense."

"Speaking of information they hold, my friend Peyote and I have been discussing a few things- it seems that Dreaded Ones never seem to emerge here. Though, other aspects of the Outlands- spirits, information- seem to cross over, to an extent."


Zamrud looks at Kirk's notebook with confusion as Origami presents it. "Only three pages…?"

He pauses as he takes a moment to look at it, noting how there doesn't appear to be any signs of any pages being ripped out. "This doesn't make sense. No notebook has so few pages." As Origami explains further, he looks at him with confusion. "They simply appeared? It could be magical in nature, or perhaps tied to the simulation itself."

He decides to chance a look at the first page to see what clues it might hold.


Deadweight takes a look at the two griffons who joined them. More roleplayers. She thinks the notebook with three pages is cool, though.


Zamrud nods. "I apologize for causing you distress, Qhapaq. At the very least, those memories are returned. It's just a matter of parsing them out…"


"Interesting. From what I've seen they have Domes instead of Castles, but they have gone extremely poorly."


A peculiar rush overwhelms you – like sinking into water, and rising simultaneously… waking up, while drifting off to sleep…


>You sit in Professor Nonpareil's office. Afternoon light glitters in through the window. Normally clean-cut and immaculate in garb to a T, the Professor (a towering mastiff diamond dog) has kicked back, and shared with you a dash of bourbon and a cigarette, if you wish to partake.

>"It's odd," he says. "I've never heard of students missing the first day. Almost every junior opts to become a senior instead of just graduating. This girl was no exception. Yet, didn't show to history this morning. I rang up Professor Constancy, too. Didn't show up for her class either. Hope she's alright."

You flip through the notebook's three pages. The penmanship is quite fine and orderly. However, they only contain a few notes on calculus. Much of each page is blank.

To you, the notebook's three pages are anything but blank. Glancing over Zamrud's shoulder, you see that the pages are practically full. In addition to the notes on calculus, they also contain… notes on physics. Dense stuff, that.

"Yeah, maybe," Origami says. "I had the notebook since last Cycle, but it was empty then. It was only after the afternoon classes that it filled up like that. I don't remember exactly when, but it was still empty this morning… think it had anything to do with class?"

"What class did you have?" Peyote asks Origami.

Origami leers a little at Peyote, probably still bitter about Peyote causing a previous reset, but Peyote seems not to notice. "Calculus, I think. Not that I woulda got it even had I understood the professor. Dream or no dream, shit flies right over my head."


"Perhaps the book will fill when the holder takes classes that the owner of the book took… possibly. I cannot say I know what to expect."

"Really? Strange… did we know any similarities, or differences?"

"I appreciate it, Zamrud." He offers, smiling warmly.

"Ah, hmm. Who is this? Another member of one of the teams trapped here?"


As Zamrud notes the near blank nature of the pages themselves, his confusion only increases.

"This is it? I don't understand, there's nothing here in regards to the tree or the school, or the nature of either. It's just, calculus notes. Did he write in some sort of code?" Zamrud asks, still trying to puzzle out the book's paradoxical nature

[1d10+1] Perception (to see if any patterns emerge)

He decides to show the notebook to Qhapaq as well. "Do you see anything here that might be useful? There's so few pages to begin with, and all it seems is written here is simple class notes."

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10


Qhapaq hums in thought, before poking the text cautiously and saying "Perhaps… a map, of sorts. Would the class the notes are from lead us to more details? Or is it simply nothing whatsoever?"

"I am not much of a math expert, either."


Good hummed a bit as he considered his options

It seems akin to our own castles but magic is a dying art and life is much harder."


"I haven't had much luck understanding either, I also don't think they would be willing to answer any questions they would deem basic from how the school presents itself as highly learned." Billy complains about his recent issue.


The only thing that stands out to you is that Kirk, if the notes are any indication, is quite proficient at calculus. He doesn't seem to have made any errors; nothing is crossed out or erased, nor does the math seem to contain any faulty calculations. This isn't beginner material either; one would expect to find a few troublesome problems even for someone who is very well-studied.

The bell rings, and the silhouette-students start lining up to put away their trays, breaking off into small groups to idle away their free time before the nightly curfew.

Herb's team looks up with confusion.

"Thought we just sat down for dinner," Lone Star says.
"Was that… faster than before?" Herb asks.
"What the– wait, I didn't even get dessert!" Locomotive complains.

It definitely didn't feel like a whole dinner hour.


What a nerd, she thinks to herself as she looks at the notebook.

"Huh? Nah, I'm not part of your game," Deadweight says before putting the last forkful of pasta in her mouth.


Zamrud sighs as he looks over the three pages again. "A map… that would be a clever way to hide it. If it is though, I'm not certain I can decipher. I'm not bad at calculus but Kirk is more skilled than I am, my specialty lies in chemistry. I suppose having them looked over by one more familiar with the subject may be worth a shot, I can see if I can meet with the Calculus teacher and see if he has any insight."

He turns to Herb, "Might I borrow this for a bit?"

As the lunch hour already seems to be completed, Zamrud wiggles his whiskers. "Hmm. We already know our perception of time may be being distorted just by being here. I suppose it is possible we'd feel it in more than one way."


Perhaps out presence has altered things? Or perhaps my gravity magic has some kind of effect on it."


"More entering the place would be stressful, I imagine."

"Meeting with the teacher could be a good idea, I agree."


Herb is about to speak, but–

"Just be careful with it," Origami interjects. "It's basically the only thing we have of his right now."

"Hmm…" Herb mutters. "You could be onto something, Qhapaq. I guess that'd track with the PCH… with more live subjects to draw from, the greater the flow of Chronos into the Tree of Evil, maybe."

"Least the semester won't drag out as long as it did before," Lone Star says.

"If nobody else gets inside," Origami says.

"Oh, that reminds me," Herb says. "Since you are responsible for the latest reset, I think it's fitting that you assist with guard duty during the upcoming Dark Hours."


"Is there any way I can help? I do feel I have been lacking in my efforts here in our goal, or is there anything else I can do?" Billy tilts his head leaning against his hand.


"Ah. Well, I apologize for our resetting. We only came to investigate. What are these Dark Hours?"


Zamrud nods in understanding to Origami and Herb. "Of course. I will treat it with the utmost care, I promise."

"I agree with your assessment. PCH may be wholly theoretical but that would make sense given what we know of it. In which case, we have little time to lose as it were."

Zamrud looks up his contacts on his scheduler to see where he might find whoever teaches 'Calculus' after the lunch periord


"A bit rude to force that on us."

From what I understand living inside isn't too much better."


"Hmm?" Herb asks. "Oh, you're from the Outlands. The Dark Hours are what we call the time when we turn off the ceiling lights in Ironcastle. It follows 'evening', which is when we dim the lights, and it's followed by 'morning' when we gradually turn the lights back on, after everyone's gotten a good sleep. It's been that way since… well, forever, I guess."

"Don't be too hard on yourself," Lone Star says. "You all only just got here. There's bound to be an adjustment period. Hell, we've been here a while and we're still trying to figure it out. You can pull some guard duty like Herb suggested, but you might be better off getting some sleep instead."

You could probably catch the calculus professor during lunch next Cycle without much trouble. You note that their office (for you cannot read their name) is only a few doors down from yours.

Herb shrugs at Good's protest. "Think of it as a chance to get better acquainted with the campus without having to worry about class."

Lone Star, Origami and Locomotive look a bit conflicted about putting guard duty on you.

"I could help take a shift," Peyote says. "One of Gokay's streams is going to debut later. I think you all might find her performance to be a wondrous release from boredom."


"Very well. If nothing else I could potentially look into finding this places central grading system."


"Thank you, I will take your advice. Maybe I have been too hard on myself and some reflection should help understand my place more." Billy nods to himself scratching at his chin in thought.


After noting down the location of the calculus professor tomorrow, Zamrud takes mental note of when and where to find them as he looks to Good and Billy.

"I think it's a fair request. This is our first day here after all, we can take the guard duty for the night… I mean, Dark hours…" Zamrud fixes himself, still conflicted on which side of his persona is he supposed to be listening too. Both words feel just as odd on his tongue for different reasons.

"I believe teachers are welcome to take shifts watching the halls after dark as well."


"Ahh… I was not aware such things were done. I had sort of noticed it, but I had assumed it was technical problems." He remarks, before looking around here "Is there any danger here during the Dark Hours?"

"Ohh… Gokay, one of the things you showed me earlier?"


"She's the streamer who I showed you," Peyote says. "The one in the, err– gokiburi costume. Hence the name, Gokay. Or, err… Gokay-chama, as her fans know her."

"Not that any of us have noticed," Herb says. "Most of our guard duty is to make sure nobody else wanders in here. The Dreaded tend to stay away from the Tree… and in fact, I haven't noticed any Dreaded capable of long-range attacks doing anything beyond the Tree's boundary."

The Aya know that there are a number of Dreaded capable of deploying attacks over a very long range – the longest attack range is 2.3 kilometers, recorded by measurement technology furnished by the Haegyl clan. However, beasts capable of such feats are vanishingly rare.

Herb's team get up, now that most of the other students have cleared out.

"Well, take care," Herb says. "Call in if you need any backup or find anything noteworthy during the Dark Hours."
"And make sure nothing happens to that notebook," Origami urges Zamrud.

With that, they make their way to the tray collection bin, and head out.


Billy takes care to wave as he heads out. "I don't mind taking any shifts at night, or if anyone else intends to do so instead. Though I am thinking if anything, that would be a likely point the weird time shiftiness would occur."


"I'll return it as soon as I am able. It won't have a scratch." Zamrud assures them as they clear the cafeteria, and he looks to the others as they all dispose of their trays.

"I think I'm working with enough of the teacher side of my mind right now to be familiar with the night patrols. I'll add you all to the schedule and inform the prefects and faculty we'll be managing it this evening. With any luck, we might find some more clues as to explain Kirk's disappearance or find more about the Tree."


"Your presence would be nice to have yes."

He sighed "So where do we go to for this guard?"


"Right! Right. I apologize, some things are difficult to remember at first. It does sound nice to watch, possibly."

"Well, you have not noticed because Dreaded Ones capable of doing so are rare. Pray that you never meet one, Herb- some can strike from nearly out of sight."


"Oh, I've heard the horror stories," Herb sighs. "Makes you wonder why we even leave the Castles, when you can get dropped or warped or who knows what else, without even seeing your assailant."

His eyes shoot open wide as he realizes the faux pas he just made before an Aya tribesmember. "Agh– I don't mean any offense."

One of the more liberal members of Ironcastle, it seems, more sensitive to the restrictions against tribes members being restricted from Ironcastle.

"Patrol the outer perimeters of the campus," Herb answers Good. "The boundary of the Tree seems to line up… well, almost identically with the physical wall that surrounds the campus. Don't get within more than fifteen paces of the wall; that seems to be where the boundary is. We put up marker stones after last time to make it easier to see."

Peyote smiles apologetically.

"We'll trust you to divide up the shifts by your own best judgment," Herb says. "Don't take any unnecessary risks; this is still the Outlands we're stuck in."

If there are no more questions, Herb's crew looks like they're fixing to leave.

Ride or Die might be amenable to helping you with the watch duties… they should probably be vacating their own Team cafeteria at this time.


"Thank you for the warning. We'll be certain to give those walls a wide berth then and keep an eye out for your marker stones. Have a good night… and make sure to study." He says with a mixture of cheek and the part of him that's still a teacher here at the Academy genuinely encouraging it.

He looks to the others, "I'll speak with Ride's team and see if there's any volunteers, but won't force it if they're not up for it. I figure our group should be enough for patrols."

>Going to check if Ride's team wants to contribute


Curious about what the others are doing, but not willing to intertupt, Billy decides to go over his own book to see if there is anything different, such as if it had been affected.


"No offense taken. I know the stigma we tribals have, and I do not let it bother me. Not all can survive in the wastes, and those that do are and act different from those that do not live within it." He explains, shrugging his massive shoulders a little.

Qhapaq gently pats his smaller griffon friend, before saying "Mm. Perhaps you and I could take a shift together, Peyote? It would be good to catch up further."


Good nodded and went out to the wall seeing it as an excuse to snoop.


Grateful for the lenience, Herb gladly drops the subject.

"Sure," Peyote says. "Oh, let's stay near the buildings during our shift. You see, after this most recent reset, the VODs I had downloaded disappeared from my little rectangle thing. The stream I mentioned is scheduled to air two hours from now, so I can re-download it."

It sounds like some things, but not all things, reset along with the campus.

Your grimoire has drastically changed; Where before it appeared ancient and arcane, now its cover, back and spine all appear sleek and modern, so much that you almost mistake it for a university textbook.

When you crack it open, you see that the pages that have so far been translated by Key Keeper's translation program are all just the same as they were before.

However, there are new pages that follow. They almost look like the textbooks you saw during your history class.

>"Do you even need to ask?" Ride's reply reads.

Within a few minutes, Ride's team approach the Boreal cafeteria and wave their greetings, looking quite glad to see you again as well.

>timeskip available when all are ready

>You can make two turns' worth of actions during this period for anything you'd like to accomplish during the Dark Hour watch


Billy with something new to focus on takes his time to try and understand the new content, a bit worried about the book's condition, and possibly his own perception being affected alltogether.


Roll #1 5 = 5


On his phone, Zamrud types out a swift (if verbose) reply,
>"If you did, wouldn't be much of an answer. Night patrols are standard chore of students, since we're new arrivals Herb's team would like to impose the responsibility on us. I saw no reason not to accept, may prove useful for intel. No need to feel obligated, though."

>As the night hour watch proceeds, when Zamrud takes his turn, he looks towards the walls of the garden (but does not dare approach) to see if he's able to perceive the Tree or not, trying to get a sense for how well it obscures itself.

>He also tries to take the time to reflect upon himself: Kirk and Godspeed both seemed to hint that the key to understanding this place would be sitting on the fence between his original persona and the one he's adopted (and he's still not sure which is which), so he tries to think if there's any other elements that line up between the two that might give him a hint as to how the Tree works


Roll #1 3 = 3 / Roll #2 7 = 7


"Huh… I, see. Very well, Peyote."

Qhapaq gives Ride or Die a friendly pat on the shoulder, smiling.
>Ready: Not sure what actions to take! Training, watching streams!


Good decided to go hunting for the central grading computer.

[1d10] If needed

Roll #1 4 = 4


You poke around through the faculty offices. Almost all of them are locked, save for the general faculty breakroom and a few personal offices with faulty locks. It seems the faculty use laptops and tablets; you fail to find any desktop terminals you can access.

>Try again?

The text of the new pages is blurry, and moreover written in a character system you cannot read – but you do recognize it. It is, in fact, the same character system used in the other texts at this university. By submerging yourself into that reality, you may be able to read it.

You divide the campus between yourselves and Ride or Die's team, both geographically and temporally, and establish patrols. It's fairly uneventful, as Herb predicted. Much of the downtime is filled by Gokay-chama's streams. She plays a charming creature collection game, though it was obviously rushed out the door by the publisher, for it is rife with glitches. Gokay-chama and her fans make no end of "bug" jokes during these snafus.

Something stands out to you near the beginning of your watch shift.

The color of the unbound sky. For a time, it is a deep, dark ochre… but only after half an hour of your shift does it become black.

An abrupt protest echoes through the left half of your brain, of the Noble Iron Soul, Zamrud Bahasa. There is no apparent cause to this changing of color. Nothing in heaven or earth could possibly explain it. Is there a great ceiling above you?

The right half, that of Professor Zamrud, is at ease. It barely registers the dimming of the light. The [*******] is going down a bit sooner than before, isn't it? The seasons must be changing. Soon, the [*******] of [*******] will bring about fall, and before you know it, [*******] [*******] [*******].


Cautious, but curious even more so. Billy felt he could take the risk around his team than in any other circumstance as the book is originally his.


Roll #1 3 = 3


He does indeed try again

[1d10] Search

Roll #1 6 = 6


Qhapaq is decently entertained by Gokay and her gaming stream, even if video games are something he has little to no personal experience with. He finds the bug jokes endearing!

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