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 Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance 
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Unread post Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
Due to a aethric flux in the metaphysical barriers keeping our fine institution of Scholomance quarntined, er, isolated from the rest of reality, we have come into contact with certain other schools, including one Cestova Keep. The messages may be seen here.
PS; if an orangetang is sighted in the library, it is to be left alone unless it approaches you. Comply with any request it makes as though it came from a staff member. Do not refer to it as a 'monkey'.
Headmaster of Scholomance wrote:
As Headmaster of another fine institute of learning, I am delighted to hear of the creatrion of Cestova Keep. My own humble school of Scholomance would like to heartily welcome the expansion of the study of the Arte, and good, sportsmanship rivalry with Cestova Keep should serve our institutions well.

I recognize that, as a small school just starting out, there is a limited number of applicants, but I am suprised to see how balanced they all are. Typically, arcane energies tend to focus a student on one development path, such as 'physically weak, but a mental powerhouse' or 'italian plumber'.

I found myself suprised to have been lobbied about whether I would take a particular interest in one of your undoubtebly fine students, a young Ms Hanna Owens, however I find my eye being drawn instead to Ms Ines Garza, though the self restraint is worrying. When teaching students to bend the laws of natural reality to your mercurial whims, I find it best to see what they uncover for themselves, rather than stifleing them with things like 'cautions' and 'OSHA compliance'.

What is your curriculum like? About how many deaths per year do you expect to average? Do you have, perchance, horrid monsters wandering the halls at all hours of the day? If you find you lack some (and 'too many' is never enough, gentlebeings) some of our more distinguished alumni are willing to introduce you to some of their more successful creations, such as the "Owlbear Mk 2", pygmy rancor, ducksnake (now with the black mamba genome stabilized!), and Shadow Mastiffs.


The response
Headmistress Pentaghast wrote:
Dearest Headmaster,
While this may be the first you have heard of Cestova Keep, it is a well established institution to which I am the ninth Headmistress. Your own ignorance aside, I thank you for your gracious letter. I cannot explain quite why we seem to have more balanced students in attendance than your institution, but it is our goal to help our graduates to be the most well rounded and all around skilled witches and wizards they can be.

Our curriculum focuses on teaching younger students the basics of magic theory and spell creation, along with, of course, a basic knowledge of common low to mid-level spells. As the students progress, we allow them to cut down on classes in order to have more time for developing their own spells. At this time many are also allowed to leave the dormitories in favor of their own rooms. Students must demonstrate an ability to defend themselves from the intrinsic dangers of a magic environment before being allowed to live on their own. Our oldest students attend almost no classes, instead focusing their energy on a thesis that will be presented in order for their graduation from Cestova Keep. In addition to magical studies, physical education and the arts are taught. A multitude of extra-curricular activities are also offered for students.

I am somewhat baffled by your question of 'deaths per year', Cestova Keep typically averages one or two, much to our dismay. Students wandering off without the skills to handle themselves is the main cause. Our staff does its best to protect the students, but some always manage to slip through the cracks.

Of course there are etheric creatures that wander the halls, that's the reason for most of our precautions regarding safety. I find it disturbing that you would wish to offer more. I find that you rather reaffirm the stereotype that Scholomance is a sadist's playground. As such, I am regretfully forced to reject your offer of rivalry. It strikes me as rather like setting a class of University students against a mob of high security prison inmates who were instructed to go wild.

I would not be opposed to further communications between our schools, however. Perhaps in time we will be able to re-evaluate intramural activities.

Sincerely,
Headmistress Delia Pentaghast


Headmaster of Scholomance wrote:
Headmistress, I object to your assertation that we are Sadists! Many of our faculty have taught the young Marquis, and assure you that he is not representative of the school as a whole (although he was kind enough to donate several amusing artifacts to the school after his execution). I find this accusation libelous, and strongly request that you retract your previous statement!

When I extended the offer to expand your school's ecology, it was with the same students you coddle in mind! Our graduates are capable of anything they set their mind to, and can (astrological effects permitting) [redacted due to potential sanity blasting effects]. We've tried the 'nothing trying to kill you' education plan, and found that the mages produced tend to be of inferior quality; mental dullards, feeble arcanists, and generally failed to meet expectations. It is for this reason that we have returned to the traditional methods of instruction, hoping to continue to produce only the finest possible masters of the Arte.

With regards to your reasons for refusal of a rivalry, I am sure that your "prison inmates" as you call them would be kept on a short enough to be trusted near students. If you insist, I am willing to aquiece to a neutral third party (to be ageed upon later) abjudicating any intramural event, within reason.

Headmaster


"Failed to meet expectations" has been causa mortis for more than one apprentice at Scholomance.

We also have some students jumping shi- er, abandoning their alma mater
Shannon Robinson wrote:
Dear Headmistress

Does your school accept transfer students? Permanent ones?
Please, please, please, please, please, please, please?
I promise I'm not a complete psychopath.

Yours sincerely,
Shannon Robinson

We can vouch for this, she's still an incomplete psychopath.

Headmistress Pentaghast wrote:
Dear Shannon Robinson,
We would, of course, be delighted to accept transfer students. Before you can transfer, however, you will have to go through the proper venues in your school administration. Also be aware that you may be put in beginning classes again, depending on how you perform on a standardized placement test.

Sincerely,
Headmistress Delia Pentaghast


Dean of Intercollegiate Studies, Scholomance wrote:
Dear Mr/Ms Robinson
It has come to our attention that you desire to get out while the going is good/wish to extend your studies to other institutions of learning, in this case one Cestova Keep. We have yet to recieve your formal application for dual enrollment, as wel as other prerequisates. Until such things have been provided, your application must regrettfully be accepted/denied.

Professor Rupart L Cuthbart, Dean of Intercollegiate Studies
43387 Twisting Neather
Third red door on the left

Clearly not a form letter. Honest.
(we really need some 'strikethrough' font for things like this)


January 25th, 2012, 6:20 pm
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
Dear Headmaster,

Your assertion that your school produces masters of the Arte rather than dullards was, quite amusingly, disproved by your own correspondence.

Our students are incredibly capable, and that you continue to insult them is not helping to sway my decision regarding allowing intramural activities. My answer to your request for any such activities is a vehement 'no'. For a man that extolls the strength of his school over Cestova Keep, it would seem you rather lack literacy. I had hoped that you would understand lighter language, but I see now that that is not to be.

Sincerely,
Headmistress Delia Pentaghast


(there is, in fact, a strikethrough option, by the way. I personally look forward to more correspondence between headmaster and headmistress)


January 25th, 2012, 6:32 pm
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
[We do have a strikethrough now, the tag is [strike]]

Shannon stares at the letter in her hand, "Huh, the admin department actually exists, and they're reading my mail..." she trails off displeased and completely unsurprised. Wait, did I ever even formally enrol here?
Well, may as well try to get some information either way.

Dear Headmistress,

Thank you for your reply. I'll look into the system here, however the bureaucracy is daunting at best and I'm afraid it might be quite difficult to organise. I am however still interested in learning about the differences between the two schools and the experiences of other magic students. In this respect I was wondering if we would be able to set up a penpal system?

Kind Regards,
Shannon Robinson

P.S I'm not sure at what age your school starts but I am sixteen and a first year


Shannon folds up the letter and pauses, counting on her fingers and wondering if she was seventeen yet. Probably, oh well.

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January 25th, 2012, 8:45 pm
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
Dear Shannon,

I will look into finding a suitable penpal for you. Our starting age is thirteen in Cestova Keep. Would you prefer a first year student or one your own age?

While there is not much I can do regarding the bureaucracy of your school, I wish you well in navigating it, and assure you that if you ever manage to, we would welcome you into our facilities.

Sincerely,
Headmistress Delia Pentaghast


January 25th, 2012, 9:55 pm
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
Dear Headmistresses Pentaghast,

I think I'd prefer someone closer to my own age.

Also, thank you.

Regards,
Shannon

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January 26th, 2012, 8:48 am
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
To the Headmistress of Cestova Keep

Greetings and Salutations,

I have recently learned of your institute of magical learning due to the attempted rivalry sparked by the Headmaster of my institute. As you are probably aware, the Scholomance School of Magical Arts subscribes to the sink or swim method of teaching. I find that while this approach has given me deep insight into life skills I did not previously posses it has limited the speed of my magical development.

I am sure there are differences between our two schools of magic, but if you would be kind enough to send me a primer detailing the basics of the arts your institute teaches I would be extremely grateful. Unfortunately a transfer is out of the question as my family has been attending Scholomance for countless generations. I would however be interested in attempting to obtain a diploma by correspondence if that is a viable option.

Yours Faithfully

Maximilian Stephanos.

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January 26th, 2012, 9:29 am
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
Dear Maximillian Stephanos,

I regret to inform you that your request must be denied. Only students of Cestova Keep are permitted access to our texts and teachings.

Sincerely,
Headmistress Delia Pentaghast



Dear Shannon,

Headmistress Pentaghast told me that you were from another and institute wished to begin a correspondence with a student from Cestova Keep. My name is Charlotte, and I'm just beginning my third year as a student here, and I have an inclination for air. Next week I'm having an exam to see if I can opt for out-of-dorm housing. They let us pick rooms in the Keep once we prove we can defend ourselves from the aetheric beings that dwell here, and I have to admit some of them are really scary. I think that a room with 19 other teenage girls is more frightening though, and I certainly don't want to be the last girl left in the dorms.

We have a lot of clubs here, and I'm in the dodgeball and music clubs. How does your school handle the aetheric beings and housing? What are your hobbies and clubs? What classes are you taking this year?

Sincerely,
Charlotte


January 26th, 2012, 3:36 pm
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
How common are war crimes and/or crimes against humanity? Shan, you can't just ask that!


Dear Charlotte,

Indeed I am and do. I only just recently learned there is at least one other magic school and so I was interested in, well, everything. I'm glad I managed to contact someone, I have yet to find anyone who knows how the mail system actually works. Good luck with your exam. Do you have to fight to prove you can defend yourself or what?
Make sure you're prepared, a crowded dorm is infinitely preferable to having to fight when you're not ready!
(And if you're the last girl in the dorms you get them to yourself)

We pick our own rooms right from the start. A lot of us were together at first by we drifted apart as we found bigger places and so on. I lived with a couple of other girls for a while but then... well, there was drama, so I'm living alone now.

Oh whoops, I should probably introduce myself properly. I'm Shannon, I go to Scholomance, I'm 16, a first year and I started about 6 months ago. We don't really classify our magic by element so much as... use? My inclination is Alchemy, which would be earth I think, and air would make you enchantment?

The 'clubs' here are kinda informal, the school doesn't organise things so much as the students. I'm in, I guess you could call it a drama club, and general social things. Likewise it's generally the students handling (summoning, trading, misusing, smiting, creating, etc) the aetheric beings. It makes some parts of the school really dangerous.

Being a first year there's no real choice with classes, it's all intro stuff. Really, the best way to get ahead it to teach yourself or get someone to help you.

As for hobbies, I like drawing and gardening. All the time I have to sink into study, experiments and the general necessities of keeping myself alive does not count!

How about you? What classes are you taking? Do you still all go to classes by third year? How many years are you there? How many people are in a year? You haven't run into any "aetheric beings" or general dangers before now? If you have to prove you can handle yourself before you move out does that mean you have combat/defence lessons?

Anyway, I should finish this up.
Thanks for your reply.

-Shannon


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January 27th, 2012, 6:39 am
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
Dear Shannon,

Your school must start at a really weird time! We start in August, so you must start in like winter or something. Are you in Australia or something? We do kinda have to fight in the exam, but as I understand it, most of it is the teacher probing our defenses and knowledge of which spells to use in which situation.

I don't think I'm an enchantment type, I had foundations of enchantment first semester of my second year and I was absolutely dreadful. Our final was to make an enchanted weapon, and I barely got my dagger done, and it was really shoddy anyway, it's only good for cutting away illusions. The year prior one of the girls made an enchanted flintlock pistol, scared the crap out of the teachers and they confiscated it! Ellen Rivers was the girl. I'm actually in Advanced Herbology with her and some of her friends. She's in the really popular smart crowd of the fourth year students, and James is in that class too. Anyway, I'm better with like...making potions and growing things than Enchantment, by far, even though I'm an air. They say it happens quite a bit, and air is a fundamental part of plant growth so it's not terribly weird. Then again I think you could make that argument about any element.

James is also air, and he's dreadful at Herbology, but he always manages to eke out pretty high scores. I think it's because of his friends and he's also really charming.

In addition to Advanced Herbology I'm also taking my last course of Magical Theory which is dreadful boring. Our teacher, Professor Knox, just drones forever. I think they give the first couple of years the more enthusiastic young teachers just so they'll stay awake for all this crap! Oh, and I'm in an Aetheric Biology class and taking Foundations of Alchemy which is really interesting except the teacher, Professor Waters, gave us a chemistry book along with our alchemy book. Chemistry is hard! But Professor Waters is really good at explaining things and she's really nice so the class is fun. I'm also in Sport, which everyone has to take. I really like it, we get to play lots of fun games in addition to just running and stuff. There's also this Magic in Design class which is sort of like Enchantment so I'm really really bad at it, but it's not so bad because it's more like drawing and stuff than forging, and we're working off of patterns instead of formulating our own. I'll have to study extra hard to be ready for the final in that class!

We can't really skip classes here, cause they have like 10 students to every teacher and they'll track us down if we don't go to class. Some third years are onto their independent studies and stuff but not very many and I'm not stupid but I'm not like super smart or anything. We have a thespian club too, sometimes we get to have days off of class to see their productions. They have some of the sixth and seventh years helping with special effects and stuff, and they're really good actors too so it's really really amazing! Oh and our music club puts on shows too, they have like a string orchestra and there are a few bands around. They're actually a lot better than you'd think a magical school would have 'cause we get to go back to our homes over break so they're pretty up to date on popular music.

We have seven years of class here, by the way. A few people take less time to graduate and sometimes people stay longer to do a sort of like...graduate school thing? They study with the Headmistress and also teach some of the lower level classes in addition to continuing their research here.

I got cornered by a pack of imps one time in the library and was stuck in a shield for like three hours before one of the older kids came and found me. They scattered the imps so fast I was really embarrassed! I've also had a run in with a troll, which I totally handled all on my own. I put a shield around his head that wouldn't let any air in and he passed out. Then I ran real quick to a teacher and they relocated it into a part of the building where it wouldn't be a danger to younger students.

We do have combat/defense classes, yeah. It's kinda integrated into all of our classes, but mostly taught in the fundamentals classes for first and second years.

Uh, there are like a hundred kids per year? So like 700 students and like 70 teachers along with a lot of other grad-student types and other faculty. Anyway, a lot of the more advanced classes have like five students in them or something so we get a lot of very specialized one on one lessons, and older students tutor a lot, since the Headmistress and the teachers really encourage it. So if you need extra help you can get it, but really most people don't need it.

What kind of plays has your drama club put on? Have you run into dangers? Also tell me about your classmates and stuff, I've heard some dreadful things about Scholomance, but you seem awfully nice and I'm just wondering in general.

Sincerely,
Charlotte


January 27th, 2012, 11:28 pm
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
Shannon flicked around the pen in her hands for what felt like the millionth time. Maybe she should try to get back to sleep, not going to happen but she could at least try. She closed her eyes and flopped back against her chair, feeling dark thoughts encroaching, she really didn’t want to face any of that before dawn. Back to the letter it was.

Good Morning Charlotte,

We start in August, but we’re in a timey-wimey dimensional rift thing. It’s March here I believe, or close enough. And August is a weird time! I’m from Australia originally and we start in February. I was halfway through a school year when I came here.

Enchantment here tends to be in the other sense of the word. Illusions, tricking the senses, things like that. Mind magic rather than “Enchanting” things. I don’t think enchanting items is part of a particular field but conjuration and alchemy probably set you up best for it. That dagger sounds pretty helpful, don’t sell yourself short! I wish I could make things like that, I’m working on a couple of things but it can be hard if you only half know what you’re doing.

Heh, your James sounds like a James I know. Maybe there’s one in every school. I asked him and he just said “You found me out.” Deadpan.
I’m good with plants, but I think I’d only be ok with potions. I have a friend who is a ~fantastic~ cook, I think she’d be really good at it.

I don’t mind chemistry, my, I guess you could call it herbology, teacher told me I should be learning it along with biology and anatomy, so I’ve been working on them. They help with alchemy too.

Ugh, what could she write about classes. She hadn’t been for months. Ok skipping that, just leave a conspicuous chunk of letter missing.

I think we must have hundreds of students to a teacher, at least in first year. This place is huge, there must be thousands of new people every year spread out over a few areas. It’s really more like a university than a high school I guess. No one cares if you miss a class, least of all the teachers, and bothering them outside of class is widely considered to be an unwise move.

There are some really talented people here too; you just need to know where to track them down. I know a brilliant seamstress for instance, and a woman who has some of the most dangerous creatures you’ve ever seen following her around like puppies. I know there are bands around, but I haven’t really been to any gigs, more of an older student thing.
You’re lucky you can go back. We can summon things, and maybe leave for a short while, but for the most part we’re stuck here for nine years.

I had a run in with two trolls a few months ago. One I poisoned with a little knife I had then it stumbled into a carnivorous plant, and well… The other I made a spear from the floor and it impaled itself as it charged at me. That was an unpleasant afternoon, but I got away ok.

We’ve done plays for a fair few things, Shakespeare was the undisputed favourite but there were old Greek plays and things like that too; mostly we just did them for our own sake so they weren’t that professional. Also very few of us spoke the same language, and some of the scripts were modified to make them more relevant. Oh wow that sounds really bad doesn’t it? It was heaps of fun though.


Have I run into dangers… TIME TO SUGAR COAT!

As for dangers there was the troll thing above, a couple of other things here and there but they don’t stand out so much.

Ok, my classmates.
Clara’s my best friend and a super-chef! She looks out for me whenever she can and I’m forever in her debt thanks to her supplying me with food and art supplies.
Jacinta’s a bitch, but in that fun ‘we are horrible in a good natured way’ to each other type thing. I practice my French on her boyfriend (also bitchy).
Max means well but is socially inept. Othello’s a nice guy who likes glitter and rainbow and COLOUR and Kesha. Shawn’s a jerk but tries to look out for his friends, Kirana’s the most sheltered person you ever did meet and she’s very slowly coming out of her shell. Ancell is a crazy hermit hobo.

The dreadful things you heard were probably true, but not everyone and everything here is bad.

Take care,
Shannon


Shannon folded the letter and pushed it away, burying her head in her arms with a sigh and staring dimly at the faint light coming through the window. Time to try sleeping again.

------

These will get shorter eventually XD

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Last edited by serbii on January 28th, 2012, 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.



January 28th, 2012, 7:18 am
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
:TT_TT:

Dear Headmistress Pentaghast,

I recently heard that some students from our institution started exchanging letters with students from yours. It's been many years since I've had a pen pal, and while the halls of Scholomance are great fun, we don't get many chances to get out. I would love a pen pal from your fine school.

If some facts about me would you help you find an interested student, I am 15 going on 16. My mother was English and by father was American, and I was raised in about a dozen different countries. My hobbies are reading, archery, and cooking. I am a very lighthearted and easygoing person. I know you couldn't tell by the tone of this letter, but I am trying to write formally due to your esteemed position.

Thank you for your time. I apologize if I should have contacted some other administrator for this request. The bureaucracy and mail system are somewhat opaque here. Truthfully, I am not even sure if this letter will reach you.

Sincerely,
Lillian Marie Andrews

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January 28th, 2012, 8:21 am
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
Dear Shannon,
Wow I didn't know there was another way of 'enchanting' I guess that makes sense, like with the Lady of the Lake and stuff. We don't do magic as it concerns the mind until we get quite a bit older, although we're taught to shield our minds because some of the aetheric beings can mess you up a lot. I think a couple fourth years know a bit of mind magic, but that's really regulated by how much teachers trust them with that knowledge.

That seems like a really weird way to teach, especially since you don't have any foundation knowledge of magic to really work off of. Teachers should be hired to teach kids both in and out of the classroom!

Also that's another reason I want my own room! The kids who have their own rooms can set up their own workshops and stuff. A lot of the older students make or trade for their clothes here, so a lot of them are enchanted. Being a talented seamstress is a good way to get a lot of extra stuff and sometimes money here, especially if you're really good at putting spells into it and stuff. That's kinda why I'm taking my Magic in Design class, but I know I'll never be as good as some of the people here who are just really talented.

Yeah, we go back home over winter holidays and for a summer break. How do you visit your parents? That must be really awful!

I'm not really a very big Shakespeare fan, but they've done some pretty good productions of it. We've done a bit of Greek drama too, but mostly it's more contemporary things. They did The Crucible and Hairspray and Grease recently, The Crucible feels a lot different when you're a witch. I mean like, it's possible, but those women definitely weren't because they didn't save themselves from that situation! It's a really dreadfully sad play I think. I think the next one they have scheduled is going to be RENT which I've heard a lot of things about, both good and bad, so we'll see I guess!

It's horrible that you had to deal with trolls like that! And they let you just carry around poisoned knives? I'm not allowed to take my anti-illusion knife out except when I'm going in more dangerous parts of the building, and they wouldn't let first years anywhere near that. Also I had to go to lessons about how to use a knife in a fight against an aetheric being before I was permitted to carry it at all! Why would you have carnivorous plants?

Your friends sound interesting. Your best friend Clara seems like a really nice girl, I'm glad she's been looking out for you, that's what friends should do. I like Kesha but no one else here really does that I've met, and I don't get to listen to her very much cause I don't have an ipod here with me or anything.

Sincerely,
Charlotte


Dear Lillian Marie Andrews,
I have found a penpal for you, and the first letter is enclosed. I don't mind being contacted by students, and finding penpals for you and the other student, Shannon, has been quite enjoyable for me. Even in the position of Headmistress and as the top administrator for this school, I feel that it is important to keep in contact with the students. If you have further, reasonable requests, do not hesitate to write me.
Sincerely,
Headmistress Delia Pentaghast


Dear Lillian,
Is it okay if I call you Lily? I think that's a really pretty name. My name is Andrew but I go by Andy! I'm 14 years old and in my second year here at Cestova Keep. I grew up in South Dakota and we never really traveled much so I really want to hear about all the places you've lived! My hobbies are dodgeball, capture the flag (there are teams for both here which is really awesome!), and my favorite class right now is Foundations of Enchantment. We're gonna make an enchanted item at the end of the year, which is really super exciting, I think. Archery sounds really cool, how did you pick it up? Is there a club for it? I'm absolutely terrible at cooking, so it's a good thing we've got a really nice cafeteria and stuff. What's your favorite thing to cook?

From,
Andy


January 28th, 2012, 1:00 pm
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
Dear Andy,

Please call me Lily. All my friends do. My full name only comes out in formal situations. Or when I'm in trouble. I'm glad you think it's a pretty name. Andrew is a strong name. Andrew Jackson was the first president elected based on looks, so I have to wonder if you aren't a looker yourself. Haha.

The places I've lived? That could take a while, so I guess I will just tell you a bit about one country each letter. Feel free to ask questions if you want to know more about a particular one, but I can't promise I'll necessarily have a lot more to say. Some were kind of boring, and some I barely remember because I was young. The first country I can remember living in is Mozambique. I was maybe three. I remember running through dusty grasses after my first friend. I remember the hills rising in one direction. I remember seeing a giraffe. I remember laying down with my parents and looking up at thousands of stars. It was a beautiful place, I think.

Dodgeball and Capture the Flag? What rules do you use, and how are your teams structured? It's really cool that your school gives such support to such games, and I would love to hear more about how it all works. Like, do you have teams and tournaments? Do you practice regularly? Let me know.

I like Enchantment too. I think the word has slightly different meanings between our schools. Here, it refers more to magic of the mind. I love making magical things too, though. Right now, I am working on boots that will muffle my footsteps. (for when I'm up late and want to sneak back in without waking anyone up ^_^) I've included some preliminary notes and ideas below. I hope we can share design perspectives. I think our schools have really different approaches to magic, but if we work together, I think we'll end up understanding magic a lot better.

I tried out archery a couple of times growing up, but I wasn't serious about it until I got to school here and joined a kind of girl scouts-esque club. Most of the members of my "troop" are more into the artsy craftsy things. Making clothes or jewelry, singing traditional songs, etc. But I really like the active parts, like archery and camping. One time, me and my best friend in the club, Tia, went out camping in this really great room. I don't know what your school is like, but our school is kind of crazy. There's this one room that seems to be a forest that goes on forever. We went camping, hiking out two days into the forest. We ran into this very serious girl and here giant talking wolf friends. It was pretty tense at first. They thought we were with these foul, bandaged things that were intruding on and corrupting their piece of the forest. They were kind of upset.

But Friendship prevails! We explained that were just passing through, and in fact would love to help them. We pooled our resources and managed to drive out the filth that was ruining their forest. It was a pretty great adventure. Do you get many chances for adventure at your school? I kinda hope you get less than we do here. This place could use some order.

But anyway, the craziest thing about that camping trip wasn't even the giant talking wolves. (They were actually really nice and insightful people.) It was the moment where I climbed to the top of a gigantic tree that was growing on top of a very tall plateau, and I looked across the horizon. I couldn't see the end of the room. Looking back, I could see where the roof was still low enough to be visible. But looking ahead, I couldn't. I really have to wonder just how far the wonders of my school extend.

I am a bit of a carnivore. But I love various meat dishes I've picked up around the world. Niku-pan, which is kind of ground meat and spices cooked into bread, meat stew, barbecue, and of course, steak. Steak seems pretty simple, but if you consider what goes into a good steak from harvesting the meat to having it be ready on your plate, it's a really subtle, deep art. If you're a vegetarian, I hope that this didn't offend. Don't worry, I can cook veggies too!

Thank you so much for the letter! It's great to hear from someone outside of school, and I can't wait to get to know you better.

Take care,
Lily

PS: The other girl in the picture is Tia.
PPS: Sorry for writing so much! I got carried away in the excitement of having a penpal again.

(Included in the letter are some sketches and notes for boots with references to and ideas for appropriate mitigation and ritual components of enchantment. There is also a picture of Lily in a sundress, coppery hair spilling over her shoulders, one pale arm holding up the peace sign, the other slung over the shoulder of a black girl whose too cool for school facial expression and crossed arms are at odds with her blush. The background is a sunny field with a forest further back. Bows are slung over both girl's shoulders.)

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January 29th, 2012, 4:27 am
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
Hi Charlotte,

From what I’ve seen everyone has some form of mind magic, even if it’s only defence or quite weak, and it can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Most people here work on shielding more than anything, I’m not sure how the Enchanters go about learning their art properly.

Regarding teachers; you my dear, are preaching to the choir. I hear at universities a lot of the lecturers only teach because they have to, but their real interest is their research, it kinda feels like that here too. I guess it encourages us to be proactive and resourceful though. Not to mention we start older than you.

It is nice having your own place, I’ll give you that. I’ve got a greenhouse too! :D I’ll answer your question from later in the letter here too. I have carnivorous plants as some parts of them are really valuable for potions or whatever, but most people have trouble growing them. I’m not a seamstress or anything, but I’m good at growing things (and know how to not get bitten) so that’s how I make my money and what I trade with.

I can’t, it is, but at least we’re all in the same boat. A bunch of us got together and watched the Muppets Christmas Carol and had a little party soon after Christmas. It was a good night.

We’re trying to get some newer stuff now, fingers crossed for West Side Story. I’m afraid I’ve never seen The Crucible, sounds macabre. If we did it, knowing our script “editor” it’d probably end up with the witches smiting their oppressors.

Well you have to activate the poison on the knife so to speak (alchemist remember), it’s just a little tomato knife normally. And yeah, I’m kinda surprised you can’t what when you keep mentioning aetheric beings. Your halls must be a heck of a lot safer. I mean, it’s not like everyone goes around carrying spears or whatever but it’s not surprising for people to have a belt knife or something if they’re heading into an unsafe area.

She is. I wish I could take better care of Clara in return, I swear she has the worst taste in men sometimes. She’s one of those girls who has to be saved from herself as much as from everyone else, and I try but… ugh, things are so complicated, I get scared for her sometimes. Being a teenager was supposed to be bad enough without magic and this place making things even more confusing.

Hey I just remembered, we’ve got posters up here saying you’re our rival and we’re going to be playing you in moopsball or something. Is Cestova really going through with it? I mean your headmistress seems neither stupid nor insane.

-Shannon

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January 31st, 2012, 9:03 am
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
A parchment with faintly glowing emerald symbols is delivered to the good Headmistress' office

To the mighty Headmistress Pentaghast, fearsome is her arcane strength, terrible ruler of the institute Cestova Keep, ninth of that title

Our Headmaster has relegated unto me the privilage of coordinating any intermural activities before he went into one of his childish fits secluded himself to meditate for a time. It is my understanding that he wished to meet your school in some manner of sporting event, though if I might be so bold might I suggest a more...controlled initial event than that walking abomination with tents Moopsball? I have taken the liberty of aranging for a secure and hospitable location that a formal dance might be held with a limited number of attendees. I understand if you would prefer to suggest an alternate location, or examine the location I mentioned.

Your humble admirer

Gerhardt Woseley
Archdean of Interscholastic engagements
Friend of the Summer Court
Heirophant of Nyal'Sagnith
Interlocur of the Loa Uldrag
Master of the Purse
Deputy Headmaster of Scholomance


January 31st, 2012, 3:48 pm
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
Dear Gerhardt Wosely,
Your idea sounds much more reasonable and workable, I will go to inspect the location you've secured along with a few staff members. You and I can discuss which students will be representing each school.

Sincerely,
Headmistress Delia Pentaghast


January 31st, 2012, 5:37 pm
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
To the mighty Headmistress Pentaghast, fearsome is her arcane strength, terrible ruler of the institute Cestova Keep, ninth of that title

Here is a short list of locations suitible for the event, though if none of these please you it would be well within my power to find others.
The most promising, of course, would be an evening at a ballroom hosted by the Summer Court of the Fae.
If that does not strike your fancy, I have been able to scare up aquire a sufficient location in the mortal realm.
The area would naturally be sealed off to keep anyone from escaping help protect our beloved students, and chaperones from both schools would naturally be in attendence. How large a contengent would you expect to bring to the affair? We expect to comfortably allow sixty of our students to attend because they get time off for good behavior. Would a matching number of Cestova students be expected to attend, or would a different number suit you better?

Gerhardt Woseley
Archdean of Interscholastic engagements
Friend of the Summer Court
Heirophant of Nyal'Sagnith
Interlocur of the Loa Uldrag
Master of the Purse
Deputy Headmaster of Scholomance


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Sorry about turnaround on this, was meaning to get this dealt with sooner.


February 13th, 2012, 11:18 am
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Unread post Re: Headmaster/Headmistress Correspondance
Dear Gerdhart Wosely,

The ballroom in the mortal realm seems more fitting. About 60 students will also attend from Cestova if we do, in fact, have a ball.

Sincerely,

Headmistress Delia Pentaghast


February 13th, 2012, 11:40 pm
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